Hitchens on why Obama joined Wright's church: Cherchez la femme

A fine theory, reaction to which is split among commenters in the Headlines item. The missus does seem to be the more aggrieved of the two and thus a more natural fit for Wright’s truthiness-to-power take on the gospels, but if she’s the driving force behind their attendance at Trinity then the Messiah’s suspected sympathies with Wright’s worldview are that much more unlikely. Why does Hitch even care, you ask? Because he’s a righteous Clinton-hater who fears we might have another co-presidency foisted upon us if Obama’s elected, in which case we’d better know where Mrs. O stands as well:

If there is a reason why the potential nominee has been keeping what he himself now admits to be very bad company—and if the rest of his character seems to make this improbable—then either he is hiding something and/or it is legitimate to ask him about his partner.

I direct your attention to Mrs. Obama’s 1985 thesis at Princeton University. Its title (rather limited in scope, given the author and the campus) is “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.” To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be “read” at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn’t written in any known language. Anyway, at quite an early stage in the text, Michelle Obama announces that she’s much influenced by the definition of black “separationism” offered by Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton in their 1967 screed Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America… I have the distinct feeling that the Obama campaign can’t go on much longer without an answer to the question: “Are we getting two for one?” And don’t be giving me any grief about asking this. Black Americans used to think that the Clinton twosome was their best friend, too. This time we should find out before it’s too late to ask.

Problem one: As I’ve said before, I think it’s lame to take anyone’s college thesis too seriously. Problem two: There’s reason to believe that Trinity appealed uniquely to Obama among Chicago’s black churches. No need to look for the lady. Problem three: Don’t we have a timeline issue here? According to Newsweek, the Obamas met in 1989; according to CSM, he was attending services at Trinity in 1988 (although evidently he didn’t join formally until 1992). If she’s responsible for making him a regular, she didn’t have to push too hard.

Since we’re on the subject, a tangential exit question: Is the boss right to doubt Oprah’s (alleged) reasons for leaving Trinity? Given the hit she’s taken for supporting Obama and her obvious interest in minimizing that damage by not also being tied to Wright, I’m guessing yes.