Monday, March 3, 2008

Take Five

1. Lost in all of this hoo-ha, I think, is one salient point: Barack Hussein Obama's name (which I put in full here because it is contexually relevant) is a major political liability. Now, before one of you half-wits go off saying Abramson's ripping on Obama's name and thinks it's a problem, let me assure you of this: it's not a problem for me. Nor is it a problem for many people. But it will be a problem for some people, more than enough, for instance, to swing an election.

In politics, the name is the brand. Just as people buy goods and services based on the brand name alone, so too do they consider the "brand name" in the voting booth. This is especially true in presidential politics, which attracts a lot of casual voters, i.e., voters who wouldn't know (or even care) about the details of Barack Obama's health care plan but do notice that he shares a name that is eerily similar to that dude who got those crazy people to fly those planes into the World Trade Center as well as a name that is exactly the same as that Saddam guy in Iraq.

This, not personal offense, is the real reason that the Obama camp is miffed about this stuff (I would imagine that, at this stage, he is well beyond being personally offended by shots at his name): because they know it matters at the gut level to many people. That's also the real reason it gets brought up by his opponents: it's low-hanging fruit. Doesn't make it right, but it is effective.

2. The idea of Andrew Sullivan getting a scolding by the likes of David Oatney is laughable. I often wonder whether some of these people ever really take a step back and read what they write.

3. Have I ever mentioned how much I like this guy?

4. Rob Huddleston has become a much more tolerable read of late. And even though he still shows signs of an overly inflated sense of self-importance (see, for example, "After the Roger Clemens hearings last week, I advised Members of Congress to lay low for a while..."), overall, he seems to be a lot more grounded than usual. Maybe fatherhood has had a positive effect.

5. Speaking of fatherhood, as the father of a five year old, I know A LOT about Hannah Montana, more so than I do about, say, the multiplier effect. Not proud of this; I'm just pointing it out.