The Liberty Interest

One locution I found particularly striking in tonight’s debate was Michele Bachmann’s reference to “injecting innocent little girls”* as a “liberty interest”.  It sounded oddly specific enough that it struck me immediately as a dog-whistle – that is, a phrasing that does not stick out to the audience at large but speaks volumes to certain groups that would be intimately familiar with the language.

Quick googling turns up a lot of results on “parental rights”, prominently homeschooling groups, organizing around opposition to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  So…if I understand the way this works, Michele Bachmann was (to a narrowly selected audience) tying Perry’s agenda to the insidious anti-Christian machinations of the UN.  You know, militia-in-the-woods-type stuff.

 She could be better at this, because I’m pretty sure we aren’t supposed to get it, and I’m guessing many, many  people familiar with fringe-right-wing politics just went through the same exercise I did.

*: Creepy socio-sexual politics of that aside, obviously.

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