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HuffPo: We Should Embrace Obama’s Middle Name


We Should Embrace Obama’s Middle Name

Jewish history is rife with name changes. Outside of the ancient Judaic superstition of “change your name, change your luck,” we’ve renamed ourselves in order to avoid being captured or killed, discriminated against, or set apart. Many of our grandparents, arriving here after the terrors of the Holocaust, anglicized their names hoping to blend more easily into the melting pot.

We live in a different world today, but not that much different. Instead of Jews being gassed in Auschwitz, Africans and Arabs are being slaughtered in Darfur. Instead of a name like Cohen causing dissent, its a name like Hussein.

Last February, conservative talk show host Bill Cunningham, no doubt wanting to play up the Obama-as-foreign-terrorist angle, repeated Barack Obama’s middle name three times prior to an interview with John McCain. When McCain was informed, he released a statement saying that it was inappropriate to invoke Obama’s middle name. “I absolutely repudiate such comments,” McCain said. “It will never happen again.” Of course it happened again, most recently when a Florida sheriffintroduced Governor Palin at a rally. Palin’s campaign spokesperson Tracey Schmitt later called the sheriff’s use of Obama’s middle name “inappropriate rhetoric.”

The left has cried foul over the use of Obama’s full name, while the right has attempted to use it as a fear-inducer. My question is, when are we — as progressives and liberals — going to stop pandering to the obvious racism of others and stand up in defense of our candidate’s full name? When are we going to feel strong enough in numbers, and fortified enough in our own anti-racist beliefs, to say that there is nothing wrong with the name Hussein, or any name, of any origin? When are we going to be able to say Barack Obama’s full name with pride, and not with trepidation?

Think Progress: Meghan McCain ‘Can’t Get Over’ Smears Of Her Sister, Forgets Same Operatives Now Run Her Dad’s Campaign

Think Progress

Meghan McCain ‘Can’t Get Over’ Smears Of Her Sister, Forgets Same Operatives Now Run Her Dad’s Campaign


Last night on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) daughter Meghan explained that she could never bring herself to “get behind Pesident Bush” because of “what happened in 2000.” She was referring to a racist smear campaign run by Bush supporters in the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary.

Meghan McCain recalled, “It had to do with my little sister … And there are things that I don’t know if I’ll ever completely get over.” Watch it:


In 2004, Sen. McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis wrote an article in which he explained the smear campaign that turned Meghan McCain against Bush:

John and his wife, Cindy, have an adopted daughter named Bridget. Cindy found Bridget at Mother Theresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh. … Bridget has dark skin. … Anonymous opponents used “push polling” to suggest that McCain’s Bangladeshi born daughter was his own, illegitimate black child.

In 2000, Sen. McCain held that those “anonymous opponents” were Bush adviser Tucker Eskew and Bush political strategist Karl Rove. McCain accused them of negative campaigning, saying that they had “unleashed the dogs of war.” Today, however, Eskew is Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) chief of staff and Karl Rove is an informal McCain campaign adviser.

Eskew has been instrumental in pushing the McCain-Palin campaign to adopt a Lee Atwater-style playbook. Independent organizations have debunked numerous McCain campaignsmears. Still, Meghan McCain yesterday said, “[O]f course, I’m supporting my father.” She further claimed that the attacks in this election have “been particularly harsh on my family



United Daily News, Taiwan: Play the Race Card, Play with Fire

United Daily News, Taiwan

Play the Race Card, Play with Fire

When Barack Obama emerged as presidential candidate, observers worried that he may become the first black person to take the office the White House in the history of the U.S. The race issue, a topic that has hardly been touched on in the U.S., will come to surface. As the Nov. 4 presidential election is only three weeks away, the worry has become a reality. Dragging behind in the campaign, the McCain camp and its Republican supporters began to play the race card, which has received a great deal of responses from its radical supporters. 

Since Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s vice presidential candidate, linked Obama with [former] terrorist [William Ayers], we often heard shouts against Obama from the crowd in the Republican assembly, such as “traitor,” “terrorist,” or even “kill him,” “behead him.” Palin made Obama the equal of Muslim, arousing a sentimental awareness of terrorism among the Americans, especially the racial Republicans who have been apparently aroused.

Last week, two McCain supporters in the assembly deliberately used the full name of Obama – “Barack Hussein Obama.” While addressing the crowd, they read out loud Obama’s middle name, Hussein, which happened to be the family name of the former dictatorial leader of Iraq.

Although “attacks on adversary” is a strategy often deployed right before the end of campaign, candidates should set forth a good image at the beginning by proposing policies. The party who runs behind in the campaign will struggle and launch personal attacks with issues of race, gender, class and ideology in a hope that it will be able to incite the masses who are unable to be convinced by the policies.

Nevertheless, the Democratic Congressman John Lewis’ comment – playing the race card is playing with fire – is well said. He condemned the Republican presidential candidate McCain for “spreading the seeds of hatred and division,” and enticing violence.

The former Cuban President Fidel Castro said that race concept is deeply rooted in the U.S. It is a miracle that Obama won’t step into the tragic scenario of the black civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated. However, if the McCain camp doesn’t rein it in and keeps on playing with fire, there will be unthinkable racist conflicts and violence as long as there are a few crazy supporters who turn their radical emotional words into actions.

Bob’s Bites: So, You Want to Play the Race Card

Bob’s Bites

So, You Want to Play the Race Card

FOX News: Fred Barnes: The Race Card is Being Played

FOX News: Fred Barnes

The Race Card is Being Played

Fred Barnes
Executive Editor, The Weekly Standard/FOX News Contributor

The truth is, the race card is being played in this campaign.

It’s being played by people like Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia).  It was played yesterday by Joe Biden, where Biden said, “the charges against Obama are unhealthy.  You don’t throw race and terrorism into the presidential campaign.”

I don’t believe McCain or Palin has thrown race into the campaign, but the other way of playing the race card is to accuse somebody of doing that.  Obama has repeatedly accused the McCain campaign of reminding people he’s an African-American and so on.  We’ve been through this a long time in the campaign.

Normally what you do in a campaign with your opponent [is], you say, “here’s what he says; here’s what he’s done.  Here’s Barack Obama; he says he’s going to bring us together, he’s a moderate.  Here’s what he’s done; well he’s spent a lot of time, or some time, working with this guy who’s an unrepentant terrorist–Bill Ayers.”

This is what you do in any campaign.  The difference in this campaign is all of a sudden when the McCain campaign does it, they’re accused of being racist, that somehow it’s a racist attack.

It’s a way to discredit the attack.  And you know what?  It’s worked pretty well with the media, because they buy into this thing.

Colorado Spring Gazette: OPINION: Frank, who’s white, plays the race card

Colorado Spring Gazette: OPINION

Frank, who’s white, plays the race card

The CRA was formed during the Carter era, expanded under President Clinton and even championed by President George W. Bush. Politicians saw this act – which rated and rewarded banks based on their efforts to hand out loans in poor and minority neighborhoods – as a means to expand the dream of home ownership. That’s a worthy goal, but the end result was the obliteration of the market rules that assured that loans were given only to those who could afford to pay them.

These loosened standards benefited the real estate industry for a short period. Every Ponzi scheme needs new buyers to keep the system going. And so the housing bubble got inflated to absurd levels. When the bubble burst, lenders lost huge piles of cash.

“Banks have been placed in a Catch-22 situation by the CRA: If they comply, they know they will have to suffer from more loan defaults,” explained Tom DiLorenzo, a Loyola College of Maryland economics professor writing on lewrockwell.com. “If they don’t comply, they face financial penalties, and, worse yet, their business plans for mergers, branch expansions, etc. can be blocked by CRA protesters, which can cost a large corporation like Bank of America billions of dollars. Like most businesses, they have largely buckled under and have surrendered to their bureaucratic masters.”

Making these obvious points is not racist. Mr. Frank should be ashamed of himself. The nation needs a wide-ranging debate, not efforts to shut down discussion.

Weekly Standard: Colorado Ballot Measure to Ban Racial Preferences Up 40 Points in Poll

Weekly Standard

Colorado Ballot Measure to Ban Racial Preferences Up 40 Points in Poll

Jen Rubin sees a glimmer of hope for conservatives:


It is a tough time for many conservatives. But here is a bit of cheery news: Colorado’s Amendment 46, which like the successful Michigan Civil Rights Initiative in 2006, would ban use of race and gender preferences in government contracting, education and employment is leading by a huge margin of 63-21%. This is in a state in which Barack Obama is leading by an average margin of almost six percentage points and in which the Senate seat is likely to flip to the Democrats.


Too bad McCain didn’t know enough about the referendum to endorse it

Media Matters: Cunningham invoked “[s]ix-six-six” and “the beast” in discussing “Barack Hussein Obama”

Media Matters

Cunningham invoked “[s]ix-six-six” and “the beast” in discussing “Barack Hussein Obama”

Stating that 666,000 new voters have registered in Ohio, Bill Cunningham said on October 10: “Six, six, six. The mark of the beast. The great majority, of course, are registered by ACORN. … Who conducted ACORN seminars to tell ACORN employees and others how to cheat the system? Barack Hussein Obama. I may declare him to be the beast. Six, six, six. It could be the end of all days.” On the October 13 edition of Cunningham’s show, a caller said of Obama, “He may be the Antichrist.”

National Review Online: Obama Is Getting Off Easy

National Review Online

Obama Is Getting Off Easy

Over the weekend, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights hero, sold off another chunk of his reputation by coughing up some absurd partisan talking point about how the McCain-Palin campaign reminds him of that of Dixiecrat segregationist George Wallace. And over the last week, a host of reporters — not just liberal pundits — ominously fretted that the McCain campaign’s use of former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers as an issue is a racist ploy. TheWashington Post’s Anne Kornblut, for instance, wrote that Sarah Palin’s comment that Barack Obama was “palling around with terrorists” is “a turn of phrase that critics said was racially loaded.”

The most laughable evidence that McCain is sowing hatred stems from the shouts of “terrorist!” and “kill him!” from a few hothead buffoons at McCain rallies. Of course, rather than foment this sort of thing, McCain went out of his way to chastise his own supporters personally and publicly.

McCain has done nothing to fuel racism. Or, put another way, the McCain campaign has done as much to promote prejudice as the Obama campaign has to inflame the vile passions behind the “Abort Sarah Palin” bumper sticker, Madonna’s stage video lumping McCain in with Hitler, the eugenic snobbery aimed at Palin’s son with Down syndrome, or the column in the Philadelphia Daily News that predicted a “race war” if McCain wins.

Wait a second, shout Obama supporters. What about attempts to paint Obama as “the other,” as “different”? Peter Beinart writes in Time that the Republican campaign is trying to cast Obama as not “American enough.” Obama is cosmopolitan and represents a changing world. To cast that in a negative light, insists Beinart (a friend and frequent debate opponent), amounts to “shocking” racism.

Beinart recounts how Palin said at one rally, “I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way that you and I see America.” Beinart makes it sound as if she said this through a Klan hood. Please. Every single presidential campaign boils down to an argument about how the candidates “see America.” Suddenly that question is out of bounds because Obama is black?

According to the liberal history books, in 1988 the GOP cast Michael Dukakis as too elitist, cosmopolitan, and not American enough. In 1992, it ran a similar attack against Bill Clinton — remember the hullabaloo about draft dodging and that trip to Russia? In 2000, ditto with Al Gore, though the emphasis was less on foreignness and more on extraterrestrialness. And in 2004, there was John Kerry’s “global test” for U.S. national security. Lack of originality notwithstanding, why is it suddenly racist to treat Obama just like the four white guys who preceded him? Talk about racial double standards.