Why We'll Never Have A President Named Jack, Bill, Dick, Jerry, Jimmy or Abe
The rest home for aging male Beltway dead-enders known as "The Politico" is taking the G.O.P.'s anti-Obama talking points out for a test drive, and putting them in the mouths of nameless "Democratic" blowhards:
Even his name offers fodder for the critics. When he was growing up, his family, friends and teachers called him "Barry." Then as a young man, he started insisting on "Barack," explaining in a memoir published in 1995 that his grandfather was a Muslim and that it means "blessed" in Arabic. His dad, who was Kenyan, had gone by "Barry" -- probably trying to fit in when he came to the States, his son figured.
What's in a name? A way for Mike Allen to pad a particularly pathetic -- and phony -- tale of Democratic infighting and dirty tricks. Somehow Abe Lincoln and Dick Nixon managed to overcome the earth-shattering relevation that their family and friends had nicknames for them, but they nevertheless chose to use their given name in professional matters.
Apart from such stupidity, the entire piece is a fraud. The title promises to take the reader "Inside the Coming Effort to Dismantle A Candidate," but the article doesn't even try to do that. The piece quotes nameless "top Democrat[s]," "Democratic strategists" and jes' plain ol' "Democrats"1 who aren't sure Obama can go the distance, and it maps out Obama's perceived weaknesses (with no new revelations). Yet the piece contains not one word about an actual effort or plan by an actual Dem rival to attack Obama on the grounds outlined in the piece. In other words, not one inside detail. Perhaps any or all of the Democratic candidates have $12 million budgeted for a series of Barry-centric attack ads2, but, if they do, you won't learn about that -- or any other actual Dem's strategy in Allen's piece.
More significantly, the piece contains not one word about the real and ongoing campaign by the G.O.P. media to portray Obama as an anti-American, radical Muslim indoctrinated at a madrassa and a phony Christian. The effort isn't coming; it has already started. Only Allen pretends not to notice.
1 Genuine Democrats who bear no resemblance whatsoever to Joe Lieberman toady Marshall Wittman, Pat Caddell and Mickey Kaus, respectively. Really.
2 My suggestion: Still shots of Obama, Dave Barry, Barry Sadler, Barry Manilow and .... dissolve to ... Barry Goldwater. Ominous VO: "Can America trust its future to a President to named ... Barry?" If you're a Republican, replace Goldwater with Barry Bonds and Marion Barry, and film in black and white.
Update: Feck! Via Atrios, I see someone has stolen my patented and wholly original idea of making fun of hacks. And backing up their ridicule with linguistic research, just to make me look lazy. These Berkeley profs. will make my life miserable until the day I die.