A few days ago, the communications chief for the Tennessee GOP commented on my blog post which called the actions of the state's Republican leadership childish and self-defeating with regards to the speaker of the house fiasco.
I accused the Tennessee GOP of referring to President Barack Obama as Barack — Hussein — Obama as many times as possible for political gain, playing on the obvious name association with the deposed Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein.
To clear the record of our honorable, mostly laughable state GOP, Mr. Bill Hobbs said in a comment that I was mistaken about how many times Hussein had been used:
"False. Completely false.
The TRP used Obama’s middle name the exact same number of times that Obama himself used it in taking the oath of office.
Now it's at least two. Today in the City Paper, I read this:
While Sen. John McCain “repudiates” using Sen. Barack Obama’s middle name of Hussein, the Tennessee Republican Party is embracing it.
The Tennessee GOP sent out an anti-Obama press release Monday in which the Illinois Democrat was referred to as “Barack Hussein Obama.” ...
When asked if Obama’s middle name though – the same name as former Iraqi president and tyrant Saddam Hussein – gave off a different connotation than others, Smith suggested that Obama’s parents needed to be contacted.
“You can call his momma and daddy on that one,” Smith said."
Stay classy, Robin Smith, chairwoman of aforementioned state party. Good grief with this. Where to start?
First, Smith and the Tennessee Republican Party are naive to think this crap works (ahem, election?).
Maybe they are just sore losers and are reverting to (what they are denying is) bush-league name calling. No matter what they say, it's name calling. Point: Calling someone "Hitler" would also be a negative moniker.
Maybe, just maybe, the TRP is actually noble in their Husseining around. Perhaps they are trying to take the sting out of the president's middle name by repeating it until the hurt of hundreds of thousands slain Iraqis is gone. They are taking back "Hussein" for the good guys.
Let's explore the third — and most likely — reason the state GOP keeps on the Hussein train:
- In Arabic, Hussein means "good-looking." Barack: guilty as charged.
- Hussein is a popular name in Sweden. It ranked highest in 1999, when it was the 168th most popular name for baby boys in Sweden. In 2006, it ranked at number 206. I don't see why they are trying to get it good with the Swedes, but I'm monitoring the situation.
- GOPers are trying to give some props to fashion designer, Hussein Chalayan. Tennessee GOPers could use some style. OH SNAP!
With the venom gone and Hussein claimed for everyone, I'm going to start using the president's middle name in my everyday vernacular.
"Hey, bro. That shirt is real spiffy. The gals are going to think your incredibly Hussein."
"OMG. P Diddy and Miley Cyrus are here. This party's Hussein."
"The Tennessee GOP is having a bake sale, but those cookies aren't Hussein enough for me."
Heck, the popularity of the Tennessee GOP's "Hussein" movement might prompt Obama to pull a Coolidge. His given name was John Calvin Coolidge, but he started going by just his middle name. I like this option, but it's not plausible because the name "Barack" is perhaps too awesome.
But there is one thing this "Hussien" deal lays out perfectly. It gives historians the option of referring to Obama by three letters, a designation reserved for great presidents. JFK. FDR. LBJ. And now, BHO. (To be fair, Abe Lincoln and George Washington didn't have middle names.)
A conversation coming to a water cooler near you:
"Lunch today? KFC?"
"You're SOL. I brought a BLT. So what do you make of W's legacy?"
"From my POV, W was a WMD who gave the USA a figurative STD, leaving the economy DOA for BHO."
"LOL. Agreed. He only watched out for VIPs, leaving my IRA TKO'd and me with IOUs."
"We'd be better off if W was MIA."
"ROTFL. What are your acronymical thoughts on BHO?"
"BHO's TCB. He's fixing W's eight years of WTF with a BFB that will finally give taxpayers some TLC and ROI."
"On second thought, I will go to KFC. With BHO's tax breaks I have an extra $8 bucks this week."
Juan Cole blogs he's proud of his president's name in "Barack Hussein Obama, Omar Bradley, Benjamin Franklin and other Semitically Named American Heroes."