I've said several times Obama has the ability to make everyone think he agrees with them by reflective listening (repeating back what they say) or expressing sympathy.
With that in mind, CNS.com covered a fascinating speech by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago (and USCCB prez) at the Louisiana Priests Convention April 21:
In a question-and-answer session that followed his keynote speech... Cardinal George offered a candid assessment of his 30-minute meeting with the president at the White House March 18.
"I think on the life issue he's on the wrong side of history," the cardinal said. "I think he has his political debts to pay, and so he's paying them."
Cardinal George said his conversation with the president was polite but substantive.
"It's hard to disagree with him because he'll always tell you he agrees with you," he said. "Maybe that's political. I think he sincerely wants to agree with you. You have to say, again and again, 'No, Mr. President, we don't agree (on abortion).'..."
Cardinal George said he told the president he was concerned about his decision to rescind the Mexico City policy, which resulted in providing taxpayer money to fund abortion overseas.
"He said we weren't exporting abortion," the cardinal said. "I said, 'Yes we are.' He would say, 'I know I have to do certain things here. ... But be patient and you'll see the pattern will change.' I said, 'Mr. President, you've given us nothing but the wrong signals on this issue.' So, we'll see, but I'm not as hopeful now as I was when he was first elected."...
Cardinal George said on the issue of abortion, "I think we're up against something a little bit like slavery.... It's a society-dividing issue, and on this issue, we're with Abraham Lincoln and he's with Stephen Douglas, and he doesn't like to hear that, but that's where he is."
The cardinal was referring to the 7 debates held in 1858 between Lincoln and his opponent for an IL seat in the U.S. Senate. Slavery was the main issue discussed in all of the debates.
If even the incremental restrictions on abortion -- such as the ban on partial-birth abortion or parental notification laws -- are rolled back, Cardinal George said pro-life advocates could feel desperate because they fear "abortion will be a human right, and of course, if it's a human right, it can't be qualified."
"But you can't go on indefinitely. For 80 years we were a slave republic, and it took a terrible war to end that. And now for 40 years we're in an abortion regime, and I'm not sure how that's going to end," [the cardinal said].
I love how Cardinal George did not let Obama get away with saying they agreed on components of abortion.
And it sounds as if Cardinal George compared to his face Obama's position on abortion compared to Douglas's position on slavery. Bravo.
Nevertheless, I'm quite sure Obama doesn't actually hear charges like this. He's an interesting psych case, able to compartmentalize to a frightening degree.
I also thought Cardinal George's statements about pro-lifers "feeling desperate" and "I'm not sure how this is going to end," were cryptic.
[Photo of George courtesy of Fair Immigration; photo of Obama courtesy of Digital Journal