Monday, April 21, 2008

How dare Hillary use calculation against Barack!

The horror. How dare she? Barack today informs us that Hillary is using calculation against him. How could she? A piece in USA TODAY by Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence entitled "Obama responds: Says Clinton is using 'fear and calculation to divide us'" informs us that:

... a TV ad just released by Barack Obama's campaign is its response to the spot she started running earlier today about who can best "stand the heat" when things get tough.


The Obama ad asks, "who in times of challenge will unite us -- not use fear and calculation to divide us?" The Obama campaign's answer would be that he's the uniter.

Huh? What on earth does it mean to use calculation against someone or some group? Why can't these people speak in plain and simple English rather that the cryptic notions of a Professor of English from Chicago?

According to my dictionary, one meaning of calculation, is "cold heartless planning to promote self-interest." I presume that this is what Barack is getting at, kind of. But it still does not ring clear as a bell and make any sense in the context of a political ad targeting normal voters. In essence, all political strategy is calculated, including his own. If it is not calculated, then it does not amount to being strategy. Duh! But strategy calculation is what happens behind the scenes. It makes no sense to refer to a political campaign artifact as being a calculation. At least not to voters. Maybe the ad was designed simply to appeal to the creators of political ads.

I suspect that the real truth here is that "calculation" is some kind of insider-politics jargon code word that is misguidedly being slipped out into the general media. Maybe Barack is referring to political calculation, but as if it is somehow in and of itself bad. But why be so cryptic? Maybe he is hoping that voters will be frightened by such a long word, especially those less well-educated and "bitter."

Besides, it is patently obvious that Barack's decision to go negative late in the campaign shows clearly that he himself is not above "cold heartless planning to promote self-interest."

I also suspect that this kind of talk is more common among Progressives chattering among themselves.

What this bizarre language usage shows once again is that Barack and his campaign and supporters really are elitists and out of touch with everyday citizens.

-- Jack Krupansky


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