An Upshot

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Much of the commentary on the Jeremiah Wright controversy and Barack Obama’s response to it has, naturally enough, focused on the possible consequences for Obama’s presidential campaign. But my guess is that it will also have an effect on American electoral politics as a whole. Coming in the wake of the much smaller flap over John Hagee, L’affaire Obama/Wright assures that endorsements of or associations with politicians by religious figures will draw close and immediate media scrutiny from here on out.
Parsley2.jpgFirst up has been Columbus, Ohio megachurch pastor Rod Parsley, for his claim that the government, allied with Planned Parenthood, has pursued a policy of “black genocide.” Parsley has been up to his ears in Ohio politics for some time, and in this election cycle has been backing John McCain enthusiastically.
Two decades ago, revelations that Reagan Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg smoked marijuana not only scuttled Ginsburg’s nomination but put pot smoking onto the list of approved questions for presidential nominees. They will now be expected to answer for the views of their clerical supporters, with the result that they will start vetting these people carefully before they let them up on the dais. I’d call this a net plus for the country.