Monday, July 6, 2009

Commonweal Makes a Funny - And a Good Point on Obama's Catholic Press Meeting

Commenting on that White House get-together with a select, and wholly-contrived, cross-section of the Catholic press, Paul Baumann of Commonweal sets the scene:
We were seated at a polished conference table. A painting of Teddy Roosevelt on horseback, with a no-nonsense expression on his face, stared down at us in an intimidating fashion. When Obama entered the room, he went round the table greeting each of us with a handshake. He then sat down directly across from me, in the middle, rather than at the head of the table. It is necessary to report that although Obama is supposed to be 6’2˝, he’s actually closer to 10 feet tall. There is also, as rumor has it, a glow or aura surrounding him that television cameras simply do not pick up. And then there’s his voice. You see his lips move, but his voice seems to come, in a kind of whisper, from somewhere above and beyond. Even stranger, Obama’s voice sounds nothing like it does on TV, but rather uncannily like that of John Houston’s narration in the movie The Bible.

I’m joking. . .

At America Mag those last two words would be missing. In fact, America Editor Fr. Drew Christiansen, SJ, took his own writer, Michael Sean Winters, to task yesterday for giving the president a mere 'B' on his performance with the Catholic press. Pathetic.

Kudos to Baumann for poking a bit of fun at this genre.

And even more kudos to him for making a spot-on observation about his meeting with President Obama, my emphases:
He answered my question about abortion by reiterating what he had said in his commencement speech at Notre Dame. At one level there is an “irreducible difference, conflict on the abortion issue,” he said. Still, both sides can work together to reduce the number of abortions. If given an opportunity for a follow-up question, I would have asked Obama to explain what exactly he understands that irreducible conflict to be. As long as Roe is the law of the land, the common ground the president so eloquently speaks of will continue to demand much from abortion opponents and few or no concessions from his political allies in the abortion-rights movement.