Dr. Obamalove, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the 'fear bomb'

Thomas Lifson
Hurray! Everyone can now relax and use Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein. It is no longer racist to do so. The Chicago Tribune reports that the PEOTUS plans to "reboot America's image" and use his middle name when he sworn in. Ever the opportunist, he is packaging a self-serving political maneuver as a service to America:

 "I think we've got a unique opportunity to reboot America's image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular,'' Obama said Tuesday, promising an "unrelenting" desire to "create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership in countries and with peoples of good will who want their citizens and ours to prosper together."

The world, he said, "is ready for that message."

During the campaign, Michelle Obama declared that use of the middle name Hussein was "the fear bomb" (hat tip Sweetness & Light). The political calculation was that the name would hurt him. So a moral injunction was declared: it was impermissible racism to utter the two destructive syllables in connection with Obama.

But that electoral calculus is as outdated as attendance at Trinity United Church of Christ. All of sudden, what's best for Obama is using Hussein when he is sworn in.

Traditionally, presidents have been sworn in by the Chief Justice with their full names, so any Obama deviation from historical precedent would be notable. And difficult to defend, internationally in particular. The Islamic world knows that he is nammed Hussein. But even his own base could be alienated by the political incorrectness of denying his roots. He is already elected, so he doesn't have to worry about opponents making hay of its use  for 4 years.

There is really no advantage in Obama facing that kind of trouble.

But how clever to package this as serving America! This is one slick operator.
Hurray! Everyone can now relax and use Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein. It is no longer racist to do so. The Chicago Tribune reports that the PEOTUS plans to "reboot America's image" and use his middle name when he sworn in. Ever the opportunist, he is packaging a self-serving political maneuver as a service to America:

 "I think we've got a unique opportunity to reboot America's image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular,'' Obama said Tuesday, promising an "unrelenting" desire to "create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership in countries and with peoples of good will who want their citizens and ours to prosper together."

The world, he said, "is ready for that message."

During the campaign, Michelle Obama declared that use of the middle name Hussein was "the fear bomb" (hat tip Sweetness & Light). The political calculation was that the name would hurt him. So a moral injunction was declared: it was impermissible racism to utter the two destructive syllables in connection with Obama.

But that electoral calculus is as outdated as attendance at Trinity United Church of Christ. All of sudden, what's best for Obama is using Hussein when he is sworn in.

Traditionally, presidents have been sworn in by the Chief Justice with their full names, so any Obama deviation from historical precedent would be notable. And difficult to defend, internationally in particular. The Islamic world knows that he is nammed Hussein. But even his own base could be alienated by the political incorrectness of denying his roots. He is already elected, so he doesn't have to worry about opponents making hay of its use  for 4 years.

There is really no advantage in Obama facing that kind of trouble.

But how clever to package this as serving America! This is one slick operator.