He's a biracial middle-class Kenyan-Kansan Hawaiian-born Indonesian-raised Columbia and Harvard graduate who chose to immerse himself in the most corrosive and paranoid end of a racial-grievance ghetto mentality that is nothing to do with him, his family or his upbringing. He doesn't have the same excuse as a Jackson, Sharpton or Farrakhan.Is the most obvious conclusion really that Barack Obama hates America? I should think it is much more likely that he wanted to feel connected to the historical experience of black people in America — exactly what he had missed growing up.
Why would he do such a thing? I wouldn't expose my kids to the four-letter ravings of Jeremiah Wright because I wouldn't want them to grow up loathing their country. I find it hard not to think less of a man who does.
Steyn compares Obama to Condoleezza Rice — who "has childhood memories of a segregated south and racial violence" — as if the comparison makes Obama's choice more of a puzzle. But it's not if you think of him as a young man who had grown up so far away from an experience that other people saw in his face. It would make sense to plunge into exactly the experience he thought he had missed and to do so in a very openly accepting way, seeking to learn and feel. Looking at everything else we've seen of Barack Obama, I would assume he was listening and absorbing new information and, at the same time, maintaining his composure, morality, and judgment.
ADDED: Juan Williams says a lot.