Democrats Change Middle Name to Hussein 

State Dems also push new slogan

In an astounding show of support, more than 500 Tennessee Democrats have arranged to change their middle names to Hussein in protest of the state GOP’s efforts to stigmatize Barack Obama because of his middle name.

In an astounding show of support, more than 500 Tennessee Democrats have arranged to change their middle names to Hussein in protest of the state GOP’s efforts to stigmatize Barack Obama because of his middle name.

“We are going to have people organizing and going to courthouses all over the state to do an official name change,” says Gray Sasser, chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party. “Some people have said they want to replace their current middle name with Hussein, while others will simply add it to the rest of their names. Personally, I will soon officially be Gray Hussein Sasser.”

The fervent reaction on the part of Democrats is in response to the Tennessee GOP issuing an anti-Obama press release last week that pointedly referred to him several times by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama. Obama was given the middle name, which means “handsome,” in honor of his Kenyan grandfather.

Backlash against the thinly disguised xenophobia and naked yahooism came, predictably, from Democratic quarters, but also from GOP officials disturbed at its appeal to intolerance.

Nobody exactly remembers who came up with the idea of the name-change-in-solidarity scheme, but Sasser says it has gathered steam over several days.

“We’ve also had several babies born to Democrats in the state who have already been given Hussein as a middle name,” he says. “People recognize that Obama’s candidacy is a historic one, and they want their child to be a part of that.”

Sasser says that Tennessee Democrats are also heading a movement to convince Obama to begin using his initials, BHO, in campaign materials.

“It can be just like FDR and JFK,” Sasser says. “We even suggested a slogan that takes off on the HBO ads: ‘He’s not a politician. He’s BHO.’ We haven’t heard back from them on that.”

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