Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Do words have meaning?

Sen. Obama was interviewed on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos":
STEPHANOPOULOS: You've also said that with Social Security, everything should be on the table.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Raising the retirement age?

OBAMA: Everything should be on the table.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Raising payroll taxes?

OBAMA: Everything should be on the table. I think we should approach it the same way Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan did back in

1983. They came together. I don't want to lay out my preferences beforehand, but what I know is that Social Security is solvable. It is not as difficult a problem as we're going to have with Medicaid and Medicare.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Partial Privatization?

OBAMA: Privatization is not something that I would consider

So, "everything" is on the table but not "everything" is on the table?

The contradiction exists only for those who follow the rules of logic. Without such arbitrary limits, one can interpret the first statement that "everything is on the table" to be an emotional statement which meaning 'we Democrats like to think of ourselves as open-minded problem solvers.' The statement that "privatization" is off the table is interpreted through a complex history: Although previously advocated by Pres. Clinton, privatization is now associated with Pres. Bush and therefore emotionally unacceptable. The contradiction vanishes.

Via BotW.

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