Mike Gallagher

This week, a lot of people I admire and respect have scolded me for my frequent on-air use of Barack Hussein Obama’s full name.

These good folks all have solid reasons, I suppose, for disagreeing with the recitation of the man’s name. Karl Rove, for example, told me that to say his middle name “isn’t helping John McCain, it’s hurting him.” I was surprised at that suggestion since I’m not am employee of the Republican National Committee or someone on the McCain for President payroll, I’m a radio talk host who happens to be a Republican. But I remembered that Rove is a brilliant political kingmaker who often comes to successful conclusions by studying focus groups and polling data.

The great Michelle Malkin gently chided me for using Obama’s middle name. After my initial shock (after all, anyone who continually refers to “Obamasiah” isn’t someone who shies away from edginess) she went on to explain how the loony left has honed in on her maiden name as a way to try and attack her with some kind of racist smear about her ethnicity. So I think she feels the use of a name to make a point, legitimate or not, is unnecessary.

I cannot – and will not – take exception to anyone who disagrees with my use of Sen. Obama’s full legal name. But I will continue doing so because I think there are substantive reasons to consider his life in total. The man who wants to be commander-in-chief should expect to have his childhood, his family, his entire belief system scrutinized by the voters.

And a year-old New York Times article that I found gives anyone ample reason to wonder about his feelings about the Muslim world. At a time when we are at war with Muslim extremists who want us all dead, isn’t that fair?

This controversy reminds me of the righteous indignation offered up by Mitt Romney supporters when anyone wondered aloud about his religious beliefs as a Mormon. Despite the reality of plenty of Evangelicals wondering how they could pull the lever in a voting booth for a man whose religious practices and beliefs are so contrary to their own church doctrine, Gov. Romney’s people shrieked that those folks were “bigots” and guilty of religious intolerance.

At the risk of sounding harsh, who does anyone think they are to lecture voters about what reasons they are not allowed to consider in voting for a presidential candidate? Voters can have any doggone reason they wish in determining who they will – or won’t – vote for.

If a voter chooses to select someone based on religious reasons, that’s their business. How dare any pundit or talk host denigrate a voter for what he or she feels is a legitimate reason not to cast an important vote?

Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher is a nationally syndicated radio host, Fox News Channel contributor and guest host and author of 50 Things Liberals Love to Hate.