So, remember that whole kerfuffle two campaigns ago about the presidential candidate whose middle name was Hussein?
Those who were worked up about Barack Obama’s middle name – and what they said it told us about the real nature of his character – certainly were loud. Time after time, they transparently included his middle name is any and every discussion about him. It did, they told us, prove a good many of the assertions they were making about him.
Fast forward nearly eight years, and those same “middle-name” evaluators have gone silent. Even as the 2016 presidential campaign begins to take shape, it’s interesting to note how the loud voices of the past have gone mute.
Despite all they could work with …
Ted Cruz (full name Rafael Edward Cruz) – Rafael? As in Rafael Trujillo, El Jefe himself? Yes, the same Dominican strongman, who ruled that country for 30 or so years. During that period, estimates are that more than 50,000 people lost their lives to his barbaric regime. By the way, Rafael translates to “God has healed.” Meanwhile, Ted, the name he chooses to use (Ted Bundy, anyone?), means “wealthy guardian.” Interesting.
George Pataki (full name George Elmer Pataki ) – Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr. is a convicted American serial killer, currently serving six life sentences in a Texas prison. Elmer was convicted in 1974 for his role in a series of 1970-1973 murders (the “Houston Mass Murders”), in which at least 28 teenage boys were abducted, tortured, raped and murdered by another man, Dean Corll. Many of the victims were lured to Corll’s home by Henley or another teenage accomplice. When Henley was 17, in 1973, he shot and killed Corll. And let’s not forget the fictionalized Elmer Gantry created by Sinclair Lewis in 1926. The tent-revival preacher formed his own church and radio empire. Must be a Republican thing.
Mike Huckabee (full name Michael Dale Huckabee) – We’ve got William Dale Jennings, a co-founder of the Mattachine Society, one of the earlier (founded in 1950) gay rights organizations in the U.S. And then there’s Dale Christopher Cregan, a convicted British drug-dealer doing life in prison. He was convicted of four counts of murder – including killing two police officers – and three separate counts of attempted murder. Among other things, in September 2012, Cregan made a hoax emergency call to the police. When two officers arrived, Cregan shot them and threw an M75 hand grenade at them. Both officers were hit by at least eight bullets as Cregan fired 32 shots in 31 seconds.
Marco Rubio (full name Marco Antonio Rubio) – So, Antonio Gransci was an Italian Marxist theorist who has his own commemorative plaque – at Mokhovaya Street in Moscow. The inscription reads: “In this building in 1922-1923 worked the eminent figure of international communism and the labor movement and founder of the Italian Communist Party ANTONIO GRAMSCI.” While Gransci might not be a famous name to you, you probably are familiar with Antonio Raimundo “Tony” Montana, the murdering fictional character played by Al Pacino in the 1983 film Scarface.
Ben Carson (full name Benjamin Salomon Carson) – The corrupt Solomon Pross, a character in Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” steals from his sister, becomes an informer in England, and later shows up as a spy in France. The Bible, meanwhile, tells us that King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. The foreign wives apparently pulled Solomon toward idolatry because they worshiped other gods. The Hebrew Bible depicts a visit to King Solomon by the queen of Sheba and tells us that, when Solomon gave her “all her desire, whatsoever she asked,” she left satisfied. Hmm.
Lindsay Graham (full name Lindsay Olin Graham) – Olin is a Swedish name (wait, isn’t Sweden a socialist country!!!) Oh, and it means “to inherit,” which, I suppose, makes it OK. And then there is Nelly Olin, French Minister of Environment. (French!! France!! Environment!!). From 2004 to 2005, Olin was the Minister-Delegate for Social Security. (Social Security!!! She!!)
Jeb Bush (full name John Ellis Bush) – Fittingly, we need not look beyond Jeb Stuart Magruder, who was convicted of conspiracy in the Watergate affair. But there’s also Ruth Charlotte Ellis, the African-American woman who became widely known at 100 as the oldest surviving open lesbian and LGBT rights activist. And Walter E. Ellis, also known as the Milwaukee North Side Strangler, who was an American serial killer who raped and strangled seven women in Milwaukee between 1986 and 2007.
And, lastly, we the Donald, Mr. Trump himself. Middle name John. Not much there. But, in the past there have been multiple bankruptcies involving someone by that name, so maybe … wait a minute, it’s the same guy. Oops. Never mind. Let’s just skip him.
So, wail away, all you talking heads. Treat this next batch the same way you treated that skinny guy with the middle name of Hussein, which, of course, translates to “good,” “handsome” or “beautiful.”