Does anyone believe a long association with Jerry Falwell's church would have done anything but help McCain in the Republican primary, and gotten Democrats tagged as anti-religion when they tried to point out Falwell's nuttiness in the general? It's fine to be a Christian extremist in America. It's fine to believe, and say publicly, that everyone who hasn't accepted Jesus Christ into their heart will roast in eternal hellfire, fine to believe that the homosexuals caused Hurricane Katrina and the feminists contributed to 9/11, fine to believe we must support Israel so the Jews can be largely annihilated in a war that will trigger the End Times, fine to believe we're in a holy battle with the barbaric hordes of Islam, fine to believe that we went to the Middle East to prove "our God is bigger than your God." What you can't believe is that blacks have suffered a long history of oppression in this country, that they're still face deep institutional discrimination, and that a country where 100 percent of the presidents have been rich white guys is actually run by rich white guys. More to the point, even if you do believe those things, you certainly can't be angry about it!Ezra Klein, on what he describes as the "normalized extremism" of white religion in America, whether it be Christian or Jewish. The stalinoid ritual of denouncing and disavowing the non-p.c. (whether it be politically, or patriotically, correct) remarks of an ally seems to be in full bloom right around now; first it was Geraldine Ferraro (and until last week, who even knew she was still alive?!?), now it's the septagenarian retired former pastor of Sen. Obama's church, Rev. Wright.
Let's face it: if you spend any time inside a house of worship, you're frequently going to hear some crazy shit coming from the pulpit, stuff that's uncomfortable to listen to, both because (like much of what Rev. Wright has said) it's uncomfortably true, if worded in an extreme manner, and because the sort of person who makes a livelihood as a Man of God is somewhat eccentric to begin with. But because it now fits the campaign strategies of his opponents to make Obama (and African Americans in general) seem un-American, we will now get to enjoy several weeks of stories about what spooky places the churches in the black communities are. And in a nation that once conducted experiments on African American males to study how untreated syphillis effected its subjects, and has facilitated the spread of AIDS in the Third World by defunding family planning and birth control programs, we can denounce someone for having the wrongheaded audacity for believing the same thing happened here.
UPDATE: This story has now officially jumped the shark.