“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.” (Some of my readers took umbrage at this, too: “Get this,” Sam Pakenham-Walsh, member of the Nitpickers League, said in an e-mail message, “we no longer use the subjective tense! Has all our education been for naught?” Because Ferraro’s statement posed a condition contrary to fact, her “if Obama was a white man” should have been were. Neither campaign demanded a correction.)If the Nitpickers League cares about standards, Mr. Pakenham-Walsh's membership card is in grave danger. If you google "subjective tense" you get mostly the expected thing, namely people using tense when they appear to mean mood, while simultaneously using subjective when they mean subjunctive. Some of these come from folks like Mr. P-W, that is from card-carrying peevologists. Hilariously, Safire let this go through. (The Log has had entire strings about the related issue of the 'passive tense' but I don't see mention of 'subjective tense' over there on a quick glance.)
You can also find tense used for case, so that we is a 'subjective tense' pronoun, while I guess us is in the 'objective tense'. So, tense doesn't just mean 'some category of verbal inflection' but 'some grammar thing'. If you pursue this, you can find 'plural tense' and such too. Talk about semantic bleaching!
I should note, though, that the phrase 'subjective tense' does get used in linguistics, if not widely. In her 1989 paper "On the Rise of Epistemic Meanings in English: An Example of Subjectification in Semantic Change" (Language 65.31-55), Elizabeth Closs Traugott uses the term for getting at meanings in English that are "dependent for their interpretation on knowledge of speaker time" (1989:40). Her examples are from the development of future tense auxiliaries.
Image from here.