Now is the time to test whether the Tea Party means business because, judging by last week's Republican presidential debate, the Tea Party candidate for president in 2012 is self-evident.
While even casual hip-hop fans wouldn't characterize him as a controversial rapper, Common found himself under the microscope after First Lady Michelle Obama invited him to the White House for an arts event. In question: the lyrics to "A Song for Assata," about convicted cop-killer and former Black Panther Assata Shakur.
The White House said Wednesday it stood by the decision to invite Common. Press Secretary Jay Carney said the conservative backlash distorts what Common stands for, and added that the president appreciates Common's work with children in Chicago.
FOX News and Sarah Palin condemned the decision after the Daily Caller published some of Common's lyrics, including some that criticize former President George W. Bush.
For New Jersey police, the outrage centers on "A Song for Assata" lyrics like "Your power and pride is beautiful. May God bless your soul."Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, was convicted for the 1973 slaying of Trooper Werner Foerster on the New Jersey Turnpike. She escaped prison in 1979, and is living in asylum in Cuba.