January 09, 2007

Barack Hussein Obama

Seriously, that's his middle name...and seriously, that's his last name. And he admitted to using cocaine. This guy is taking the reverse political route of all of his predecessors, and frankly, the honesty approach is refreshing. But, will it work? For a guy who can clearly talk the moderate talk, he has a higher liberal rating than Hilary Clinton. He can talk the Bible Banger talk, but claims that there may be more than one way to heaven. And why do we call him black? His dad is African. His mom is from Kansas. He's just as much white as he is black, no? Barack Hussein Obama, courting the black, white, muslim population with his name alone. Give him a wheelchair and call it a landslide.


Anonymous said...

So, are you saying there are no white people in Africa and no black people in Kansas?

Eric Olsen said...

touche my friend. touche.

ok, his father is black. his mother is white. so, why is he black?

Jeff said...

Personally, the name thing I see as completely (and predictably) a non-starter.

But between Rush Limbaugh calling him Odumbo (for his big ears) and other right wingers emphasizing the middle name, I see how it's definitely (and ridiculously) going to be an issue for people who aren't willing to spend more than 1 brain cell contemplating who they'll vote for.

Secondly, the cocaine story is both 11 years old (he admitted it in his 1996 book) and again, a non-starter for me. It was back in his high school/early college days, so there has to be a little perspective. More importantly I'd rather have a candidate who 1) admits it on his own and that it was wrong, 2) doesn't try to pretend like he didn't really do anything wrong because he didn't inhale, 3) doesn't answer the cocaine question by simply saying he was "young and irresponsible" (Bush used this reply for suspected cocaine use well into his 30s), and 4) doesn't have a drunk driving arrest.

But hey, that's me.

Third, he's half white and half black. No one's denying that, and yet it's not incorrect to say he'd be the first black president, given the way the word is defined by contemporary racial standards. Certainly, more focus can be brought upon his heritage. But you'd have to change the way that 'black' is defined before you counted out his 'blackness.'

Eric Olsen said...

Correct. His name should not be an issue, but it is awfully ironic, no? Just like common names like Smith's and Johnson's statistically tend to do better in elections with an uninformed public, you've got to think that a nice man named Thomas Hitler would have a hurdle to jump.

I can look past any self-infraction fairly easily. Which is why I assume you think cocaine use ranks lower on the totem poll than a DUI. But, if a cop called you telling you they had arrested your son, which infraction would you be more upset over?

Jeff said...

Honestly, I'd have to think for a bit before ultimately saying that drunk driving is a lesser evil than trying cocaine. Consider the fatalities and the innocent lives you put in danger with the first, and it should be a toss-up.

I should also clarify -- I didn't mean to intone that you (or people who bring up the issue of his name) are part of the grouping of people that won't spend a brain cell when contemplating their vote. I think that group to be a very small percentage of the population, and that's what I was trying to get at.

I agree that it's a huge hurdle. It'll be a test of the cultural state of America. And I think it's a very legitimate topic for discussion.

But it's my hope that once the novelty of his name wears off that the overwhelming majority of people will put it aside and vote based on conscience and their political views, rather than over a candidate's name.

Eric Olsen said...

The first time I heard the man speak, I put his name behind me. Are you on a bit of a hiatus by the way, Jeff?

Jeff said...

Yeah, a short hiatus. I've got a lot on my mind right now, but just haven't put pen to paper yet. Er, fingers to keys, as it were.

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