Snakes and Bears and the language of the Clintons.

Just a quick thought on some election language.

We all know the obscenity of this incendiary “terrorist, Muslim” talk from McCain and Palin — mostly Palin, product of one of the strangest political gambits in modern history.

But I would ask you to keep an eye to something else.

Bill and Hillary Clinton are, ostensibly, supporting and working for Obama. But if you’re like me, you have sensed something tepid and almost subversive about that support. At first I thought it was just the cool, analytical nature of each of their demeanors when they spoke of Obama’s campaign. But a closer look reveals something that is more objectifiable and easily monitored: watch how frequently each of them uses the pronoun, “he” rather than “we” when speaking of the Obama campaign.

It is a simple equation: “We” equals support; “he” equals analytical distance. It is exactly this sort of political cunning that has been the Achilles heel of the Clintons since they burst on the national scene, because, in its own way, it is more enraging than the tub-thumping racism and fear mongering of people like Palin.

As an Indian friend of mine once put it, “Be more afraid of the snakes than the bears, because you can see the bears coming.”

For my money, the Clintons are acting like snakes.


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11 comments

  1. Leigh Austin says:

    Hi Kent,
    I am glad you said this, because I was noticing it as well. I have also been noticing their silence, or quiet, in this most important time to be loud and proud! If there were any time as important as in June for the Clintons to come out in support of Obama, it seems to me it would be right now, yet they are strangely quiet.
    I was happy to see that Biden and Hillary did that little web video in support of women a few weeks back, but since then I have heard nothing. Perhaps I have not been looking hard enough….
    At any rate, I am happy you’re still hitting the keys every now and again, it’s good to hear from you.
    Blessings,
    Leigh

  2. John says:

    Eloquently (s/p?) stated. Nothing to add other than you’re right.

  3. Eric Read says:

    Kent: Snakes and bears is a good analogy. I don’t think much of the Clinton’s and never have or will. The only time I hear about their campaigning for Obama is on the evening news, and that is infrequent to say the least. Sarah Palin is more open in what she is saying and doing, so she is more easily dealt with. With friends like the Clinton’s, who needs enemies?

  4. Kent,

    Thanks for pointing this out. Comedian Chris Rock noticed it immediately when as guest on the Dave Letterman Show,a late night show, he criticized Bill Clinton (who had been the guest just before Chris) for never mentioning Obama or indicating support.

    My mother called such a sly enemy a snake-in-the-grass.

  5. Kent,

    I have just been reading your words about the Clintons and honestly when you are living like me in Holland I do not know if you are right about them, for sure is it that I got hope with the new President, he must be very clever and I hope nobody shots him down.
    Anyway I have heard that Obama said things about Indians like to help them, do you know something about that, in Holland I cannot get information about that.
    On my work I let some people read your book about Dan, wolf nor dog, do you know more about a film yet?
    Greetings from Eric Jan Taapken, Rotterdam in Holland

  6. I have similar reservations about the Clintons. Hopefully Obama has enough forcefulness to counter their egos. (I say “their”, because I doubt if anyone ever gets just one of them.) Good post.

  7. Vera McShane says:

    Kent,
    Hillary Clinton isn’t a super human who can brush aside the loss of something she worked so hard to achieve. It takes time to overcome defeat.
    …..
    She will make a fine Secretary of State.

  8. Linda says:

    I agree with you all the way. The Clintons have always bothered me. I wish they were not involved in anything. That snake is going to bite. hmmmmmm then what. It is and always has been about them. Poor Chelsey. She really is the star in that family. I wish they would get out of her way and let her fly.

  9. Tom Doman says:

    Kent: I have missed your blogging since October – I hope everything is well with you. Are you still on track for the UK trip you mentioned in an earlier post? This morning I started my day with 2 stories from “The Hidden Beauty of Everyday Life” (thank you for that – the ending of the story “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Leave” is pure poetry) and was hoping you had a new blog entry. I am curious about your thoughts on what recent events in the global economy might mean. Hint hint…. ;)))

  10. Doctor says:

    Мог бы долго с вами спорить на эту тему 🙂

  11. Fay Anderson Alexander says:

    Kent, I just want to thank you. Last year I discovered your “Hidden Beauty of Everyday Life in a tiny shop in Salado, TX. I bought it merely to support the shop and until today had not read it cover to cover. Your writing has been a blessing to my peaceful Sunday.

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