Stay Class-Conscious, Barack Obama

From the annals of silly, and perhaps revealingly silly, arguments – an email from the Obama campaign following last night’s debate repeats a line he’s used before:

I will fight for the middle class every day, and — once again — Senator McCain didn’t mention the middle class a single time during the debate.

It’s true that Senator McCain didn’t use the words “middle class.” But let’s go to the transcript and look at what he did say:

I think you have to look at my record and you have to look at his. Then you have to look at our proposals for our economy, not $860 billion in new spending, but for the kinds of reforms that keep people in their jobs, get middle-income Americans working again, and getting our economy moving again.


So let’s not raise anybody’s taxes, my friends, and make it be very clear to you I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy. I am in favor of leaving the tax rates alone and reducing the tax burden on middle-income Americans by doubling your tax exemption for every child from $3,500 to $7,000.


When he ran for the United States Senate from Illinois, he said he would have a middle-income tax cut. You know he came to the Senate and never once proposed legislation to do that?

That’s right: on three occasions, McCain used the term “middle income” to describe Americans whose incomes are in the middle of the spectrum. Apparently, Senator McCain doesn’t think in terms of dividing Americans by “class” or running to represent only one such class against others; he simply looks at income groupings to discuss how his plans will affect people at different income levels. He doesn’t think of himself, being a wealthy man, as being in a different class of people than everybody else. In terms of language, the difference is subtle, and for most of us the terms are interchangeable…what is telling is how indignant Senator Obama is that McCain would not think in terms of class.