dogwhistles, from Reagan to Trump

Last week, the NYT published an oped by Jacob Weisberg, the contrarian liberal - that is, not liberal at all, but for liberal reasons! - which presented a truly funny image of Ronald Reagan as a moderate president. It sorta skipped Iran contra, or Reagan's economics plan, or the tax raises on the bottom 80 percent for fica paralleled by halving the tax rate on the wealthiest. 
But the funniest thing that Weisberg skipped was Reagan on race. Sure, he was friends with Sammy Davis, Jr. But basically, Reagan on race was the guy who went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights activists had been killed in 1964, and spoke out straightforwardly for.... state's rights. The same shit Goldwater shoveled when he voted against the Civil Rights bill of 1964 (that's the Goldwater that was Hillary Clinton's first political enthusiasm, by the way), In retrospect, the establishment does not like American presidents to be monsters. It so disturbs the cucumber sandwiches and tea. But of course, Reagan was a very big monster.
Trump playing the dance with the KKK - an organization he apparently never heard of - is just following in the great Ronnie's footsteps. It will be fun hearing establishment GOP types playing the game of walking the razor's edge between overt racism - of which they wholeheartedly disapprove - and covert racism - which they wholeheartedly like to generate. For a moment, though, they have all put down the dogwhistles and gaped: doesn't the Donald know how to play this game?.