Sean Hannity tried yesterday to regurgitate Ann Coulter's absurd claim (pulled, as near as we can tell, from her nether regions) that Barack Obama wants to be called by his full name simply because he's following the tradition in which a president's full name is used when he's sworn in.
And to back him up, he brought on Bill Cunningham, the Cincinnati radio-show host who got into trouble during the campaign by haranguing Obama over his middle name at a John McCain rally (McCain in short order repudiated him and apologized to Obama).
Hannity: Now we find out that Barack Obama says he plans to use the name Barack Hussein Obama when he's sworn in on Jan. 20. Does that -- does that now -- have you been vindicated here and is it now acceptable?
Cunningham: You know, Sean, I kind of expect McCain at some point to repudiate Barack Hussein Obama because back in February, I said he was a hack from Chicago, he swam in the deep blue waters of corruption, comes out of the pool without a drop on him. And at this point, maybe McCain would say that Cunningham was right and that he was wrong, and that he might have won Ohio if he had listened to me.
Hannity and Cunningham natter on about how mean it was of everyone to jump on right-wingers who trotted out Obama's middle name with great regularity as a reminder to voters of his alleged "foreignness". Finally, Alan Colmes (who's getting unusually spunky in his final weeks) chirps up:
Colmes: We're missing something here, which is that when Bill Cunningham ... you know, when you say his name Hussein, when Coulter says B. Hussein Obama -- leaving out his first name entirely -- the intent is a little different, isn't it, Bill?
Cunningham: It is not. My intent was to use the three names to show him respect.
[Laughter all around]
Colmes: That is funny.
Cunningham: You know, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson. I wanted to respect him.
Colmes: Let me get this straight. When conservatives would say Hussein, and underscore Hussein, and Coulter for example wouldn't even say his first name, just go right to the Hussein, it was just to show respect, and not point out that he's got a name that sounds like a guy we deposed in Iraq. There was no intent to do that, right, Bill?
Cunningham: Well, I wanted deep respect, and I wanted to highlight his roots in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he was a Muslim for four years in two schools.
Colmes: I see. I see. Here we go with the Muslim stuff again.
These guys don't even bother trying to tell semi-credible lies anymore, do they?
Cunningham blows up his own fake "respect" immediately by admitting his intent was to spread the "Obama was once a Muslim" falsehood.
Is it any wonder they finally lost? Cluestick for Bill: Obama probably won Ohio because guys like you represented the Republican Party.