Update: Obama's gonna weigh in on all this today (3/18) with a speech at 9:15 AM CDT across from the Liberty Bell. On the whole he's handled it well--not just expediently but with more honesty than I'd expect from a politician. So it should be a barnburner, or at least more interesting than Romney's important speech about being nice to everyone except godless heathens (whenever a campaign promises a Major Speech, be wary). Also, Reader contributor Edward McClelland has more on Wright, Bill Ayers, etc.
Some people, including members of the United Church of Christ, have scoffed at Wright for speaking to his community first and foremost without "speaking truth to power." The truth is that he has established (or at least re-presented in a compelling way) a counter-narrative within the black community that God wants them to be free from Pharoah's lashes. That is intolerable to the powers and principalities of our nation. It rejects the easy oneness of the post-racial narrative and perhaps more important, the fiction that all Americans are happy with their social and economic lots. Unlike the preaching of John Hagee or Rod Parsley, Wright's preaching challenges its hearers to think about the arrangements of money and power that sustain our social order and decide if they are what God has invited us to create for ourselves.
It's angry! Controversial! You might not agree with it! Clear your browser history if you run for office!
Also: I've said it before, but read Martin Marty on Trinity United Church of Christ. He lives in Chicago and knows more about American religion than almost anyone else in the world, and he has a center named after him, which is particularly impressive since usually you have to die first or be president before receiving such an honor.
Meanwhile, out in the Vast Wasteland, the stupidity gets catapulted. I'm with Josh Marshall--if we're going to bring up what Obama thinks about everyone around him, maybe someone should revisit the time that John McCain's current wife scammed yuppie smack from her own nonprofit and got caught with her hand in the bottle by the DEA. An alt-weekly, the Phoenix New Times, kept the whole thing from being swept under the rug (scroll down).1 If anyone from Law & Order is interested, I'm happy to do a quickie teleplay. (Under the equal time rule, we'll have to do an hour of Obama buying a strip of land from Tony Rezko, and something on cattle futures . . . probably not worth it.)
Michelle Obama said what about which country again?
1. For the record, her grievances about the Keating Five thing are not misplaced. Even I'll admit the possibility that McCain got a raw deal on that, and that McCain's involvement amounts to standard political sleaziness (cf. Obama-Rezko) and nothing illegal or unusually blameworthy. I know it's the sort of thing we're all supposed to denounce, but I don't have to raise tens or hundreds of millions of dollars every couple years for the privilege of asking people to not fire me, and I suspect if I did I'd probably screw it up. So I'm willing to be realistic.