Defending Barack Obama One Last Time

With Barack Obama’s presidency coming to an end, I want to defend the man one last time.

I am able to do such a thing because I don’t live in a Right-wing bubble. I’ve never had Obama Derangement Syndrome. In fact, for the last eight years, I have spoken against Obama Derangement Syndrome.

No, I never voted for Obama. Anyone who has read my posts during his presidency should already know that I haven’t hesitated to criticize Obama’s job performance as President.

At the same time, I have spoken against verbal attacks on him that are wrong.

Speaking of which, here are some of the things that members of the anti-Obama Right have gotten wrong about Obama.

#1 Obama’s Place of Birth – Contrary to what Birthers claim, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, and he is a natural-born U.S. citizen. Hopefully, Birthers will fade into the woodwork once Obama moves out of the Oval Office.

#2 Obama’s Faith – Contrary to what many people on the political Right believe, Barack Obama is not a Muslim. Obama has openly said that he is a Christian. He might not conform to man-made rules dictating what Christians should and shouldn’t do, but he doesn’t have to.

#3 Obama’s Middle Name – Occasionally, a member of the anti-Obama Right will take a potshot at Obama by highlighting his middle name.

Obama’s full name is Barack Hussein Obama II.

Like plenty of American boys, Obama was named after his father. Unlike plenty of American boys, the 44th POTUS has an Arabic middle name, one that some on the political Right attack as being something bad.

Algerian journalist Djelloul Marbrook explains why this particular potshot is ridiculous:

The Hussein in Barack Obama’s name is not Muslim, it is not a religious name, it is in fact a pre-Islamic Arab name, meaning the Comely One. True, many Muslims now bear the name, as many Christians bear pre-Christian pagan names. But the hate-mongers want us to believe that the name has something to do with Muslim terrorism. The popularity of the name Hussein derives from its having been borne by the Prophet Muhammed’s grandson.

Raising this bogus issue about it is rather like saying anyone named Sean has something to do with Irish terrorism, a notion we would immediately reject as absurd.”

University of Michigan history professor Juan Ricardo Cole elaborates:

“Now let us take the name “Hussein.” It is from the Semitic word, hasan, meaning “good” or “handsome.” Husayn is the diminutive, affectionate form.

Barack Obama’s middle name is in honor of his grandfather, Hussein, a secular resident of Nairobi. Americans may think of Saddam Hussein when they hear the name, but that is like thinking of Stalin when you hear the name Joseph. There have been lots of Husseins in history, from the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, a hero who touched the historian Gibbon, to King Hussein of Jordan, one of America’s most steadfast allies in the 20th century. The author of the beloved American novel, The Kite Runner, is Khaled Hosseini.

But in Obama’s case, it is just a reference to his grandfather.”

No, there is nothing bad, evil, sinister, corrupt or scandalous about the Arabic name Hussein, a name that predates the founding of Islam.

Still, the name continues to be highlighted in rants about President Obama. Such highlighting is illogical at best.

#4 Blame Game – As it has been with every sitting POTUS, President Obama has been used as a scapegoat by Americans who are not members of his political party. Like his presidential predecessors, Obama has been blamed for things outside of his control.

#5 Obama’s Post-Presidency Residence – Some on the political Right have made uncalled-for speculations about why President Obama will still live in Washington, D.C. after he leaves the White House. No, he isn’t staying in D.C. for political reasons. He is staying so that his younger daughter Sasha can continue attending Sidwell Friends School in D.C. – where she has attended since moving to D.C.

I realize that members of the political Right will criticize me for daring to defend Barack Obama when he should be defended. Meh, so what? I am not obligated to conform to their will.

By the way, I am also not obligated to conform to the will of the political Left.

Whenever political partisans criticize me for not believing what they believe, I simply sit back, munch on popcorn and enjoy the show.

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