The Catholic Prolife Community Response: Beat it.
The definition of a con man is a person who will say what he knows you want to hear so that he can get what he wants out of you. Con men examine and take a careful inventory of you, they take their ball, figure out what pitch to throw you to get you to hit their ball out the park.
Con men are pathological liars. They veil themselves in all kinds of ways. Some of them veil themselves in virtues, others use empathy to get your guard down with a litany of sob stories.
In theology and politics, the game of Rope a Dope is played when the people in power hone in on high-level leaders whose agendas they oppose and they appoint them to roundtable discussions and committees.
Rope a Dope is an effective tool because it takes away the public voice of the people sitting at the roundtables. They won't be willing to "offend" their coworkers on their new "team", because, some day, they think, they can get everything hammered out. If they only present their arguments logically, political opponents will see their perverted agendas and the truth will win out, they think.
As the previously effective leaders (PELs) sit quietly by and grassroots people speak out in the public square and take actions, the Rope a Dope team discredits the grassroots people (GPs) at the table. The PELs nod in agreement. "Yes", they say "the GPs are uncharitable, disgruntled gadflies. They're not like us."
"Wow", think the PELs, "Look where I am. I'm now part of the Beautiful People (BP). "
BP say they're proud and grateful for the careful stewardship of the people who in reality are leading the charge against the prolife network. No matter what the evidence is, they get into the public square and tell the prolife network not to listen to people slamming these leaders.
Sometimes the Rope a Dope Team (RADT) can even get the PELs to publicly discredit their own people. (MCFL is a gold star RADT member on various RADTs).
The PELs become useful idiots for the agenda of the opposition. This effective game splinters the group of activists. The GPs consider the PELs anathema.
This game is being played in many apostolates. The PELs will throw you under the bus, no matter how loyal, how giving, how dedicated, how effective you have been for their apostolate , their career and their personal sob stories. But, I digress and that is a post for another day.
Getting back to the President's meeting with the Catholic Press, the object of the Presiden'ts Rope a Dope is silencing the American Bishops with a sweet-talking game of Rope a Dope, and spintering what is left of their leadership among grassroots Catholics.
The useful idiot Bernadin has been lifted onto a memorial in Obama museum of honor. All the Bishops are supposed to nod their heads in agreement. Next will come the invitations to the RADT. His malarkey has already revealed that he is working Cardinal George (I think, whose mother did not raise a fool) behind the scenes.
I'm here to remind you that the Obama administration is full speed ahead on their jihad against the civil rights of Catholics and the unborn. This is a man who says one thing and does another and grassroots activists are going to intensely lobby our Bishops to keep their distance from this nonsense or we will reject what is left of their pitiful leadership. We will lobby Legatus and Opus Dei and other money folks to choke their money.
We are looking at how to chart the course in the waters against Cardinal O'Malley - who may think he got away with it, but be warned, we are on the tail of the J. Bryan Hehir and Kennedy School of Government monkey with respect to our civil rights.
To our "friends" in the White House: Lots of luck dusting off Bernadin and see if you can get any more mileage out of Bernadin's destruction.
I'm posting a synopsis of Obama's rhetoric sent to me by a national prolife activist. Hits the nail on the head:
As others have noted, everything that comes out of Obama's mouth is designed to make you think that he agrees with you, when in fact he actually means exactly the opposite of what you think he said. His statement to the Catholic media about conscience is a classic example of this.
First, he claims to be in favor of a "robust" conscience clause (by the way, it is interesting to observe that by conceding the need for a "robust" conscience clause, he is necessarily admitting that the laws he is promoting are directly contrary to the teaching of the Church -- otherwise, a conscience clause exception, robust or otherwise, would not be needed). But he knows that we know that one of the very first things his administration did was to repeal the robust conscience clause that the Bush administration adopted in December. So how does he finesse that obvious contradiction?
He tells us that his administration is reviewing the conscience clause issue and "I can assure all of your readers that when this review is complete there will be a robust conscience clause in place. It may not meet the criteria of every possible critic of our approach, but it certainly will not be weaker than what existed before the changes were made." This doubletalk takes "Clintonesque" to a whole new level. His promise to us is that the new conscience clause "will not be weaker than what existed before the changes were made" by the Bush administration. But the Bush administration made those changes precisely because the old conscience protections were weak; the Bush changes made them more robust. Now Obama repeals the robust Bush protections, and promises to replace them with something that "will not be weaker than" the old weak protections. He is promising to give us nothing more "robust" than what we had before the Bush changes. Talk about three-card monte, or "sleeves off the vest!" He is promising nothing, in other words, while making us think that we are going to get something from him.
Let's see if he can work this shell game when he meets with the Pope (without a teleprompter). And let's pray that he leaves that meeting feeling like Nancy Pelosi did after she met with the Pope.
A few quotes from the President that highlight the targets of his proposed RADT:
“Number one, one of the strengths of our democracy is that everybody is free to express their political opinions, and I take people’s opinions seriously. I’m the President of all Americans, not just the Americans who happen to agree with me,” said the president.
“The American bishops have a profound influence in their communities, in the church, and beyond,” he continued. “What I will say is that although there have been criticisms leveled at me from some of the bishops, there have been a number of bishops who have been extremely generous and supportive even if they don’t agree with me on every issue. So in that sense the American bishops represent a cross-section of opinion just like other groups do.”
He then gave the examples of Cardinal George and Cardinal Bernardin as bishops who he has worked with.
“Part of why establishing a relationship with the bishops is important to me is because I have very fond memories of Cardinal Bernardin, who was in Chicago when I first arrived to be a community organizer - funded in part by the Campaign for Human Development - and working with Catholic parishes on the south side of Chicago,” the president added. “And so I know the potention that the bishops have to speak out forcefully on issues of social justice. ...There are going to continue to be areas where we have profound agreements and there are going to be some areas where we disagree. That’s healthy.”
Another questioner asked the president if he felt as if he had been dragged into a longtime family feud among Catholics, liberal and conservative.For the second time during the discussion, President Obama mentioned the influence of Cardinal Bernardin
“When I was first becoming interested in social justice issues, the American bishops were talking about nuclear freezes and sanctuary for illegal immigrants and protesting U.S. policy in Latin America,” said the president. “And there was, I think, a very different set of perspectives that were represented, arising out of the Second Vatican [Council]. And then there was a decided shift that I think took place within — among Church officials. And, in some ways, that tracked changes in American society at large, or at least American politics.”
Furthermore, the president said, “I think responses to my administration mirror tensions within the Church as a whole.”
“Cardinal Bernardin was strongly pro-life, never shrank away from talking about that issue, but was very consistent in talking about a ‘seamless garment’ and a range of issues that were part and parcel of what he considered to be pro-life, that meant that he was concerned about poverty; he was concerned about how children were treated; he was concerned about the death penalty; he was concerned about foreign policy,” said the president. “And that part of the Catholic tradition is something that continues to inspire me. And I think that there have been times over the last decade or two where that more holistic tradition feels like it’s gotten buried under the abortion debate.”
“Now, as a non-Catholic, it’s not up to me to try to resolve those tensions,” he added. “All I can do is to affirm how that other tradition has made me, a non-Catholic, I think reflect on how I can be a better person and has had a powerful influence on my life. And that tells me that it might be a powerful way to move a broader set of values forward in American life generally.”
We reported earlier on the president’s meeting with the Catholic press and his promise regarding conscience-clause protection. For his exact words on the subject, read on.
“I think that the only reason that my position may appear unclear is because it came in the wake of a last-minute, 11th-hour change in conscience clause provisions that were pushed forward by the previous administration that we chose to reverse,” said President Obama. “But my underlying position has always been consistent, which is I’m a believer in conscience clauses. I was a supporter of a robust conscience clause in Illinois for Catholic hospitals and health-care providers. I discussed with Cardinal George when he was here in the Oval Office, and I reiterated my support for an effective conscience clause in my speech at Notre Dame.”
“I think there have been some who keep on anticipating the worst from us, and it’s not based on anything I’ve said or done, but is rather just a perception somehow that we have some hard-line agenda that we’re seeking to push,” he added.
“We will be coming out with ... more specific guidelines. But I can assure all of your readers that when this review is complete there will be a robust conscience clause in place. It may not meet the criteria of every possible critic of our approach, but it certainly will not be weaker than what existed before the changes were made.”
Happy Fourth of July!!!