Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.
Apparently we hit the big time this morning. Laura Ingraham commented on my “Our President” blog post.
I missed it, but knowing Laura (from listening to her, anyway) I’ll bet it was good. And true. She must have been worried that the Register is being naive, not alert to the danger, and too accommodating.
She probably made a point we made in a recent editorial: Wishful thinking is deadly to a political movement.
She’s right. To simply close our eyes and say, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home” while we click our heels won’t get us back to Kansas, not this time.
Because of her show, I even made a change to the post: It no longer says that we at the Register liked Obama. I’ve been told that some people here didn’t. So now it says that “I, for one, always liked him.”
Why? Because he’s a likable guy.
Might I suggest that there may be some naivete on both sides, here? An extremely likable man who thinks some people don’t have the right to life has just been elected our president.
To ignore his likability is itself wishful thinking. In the days of Clinton, many people who disagreed with him about the right to life decided that they hated everything about him, and you should, too. After four years wallowing in the glory of how unlikable he is, his opponents woke up to find: A) Their opinion was not as widely shared as they had convinced themselves it was, and, B) While they were busy trading Clinton jokes, the Republicans were busy picking as a standard bearer ... Bob Dole.
Wishing it so won’t make Obama unlikable.
Wishing it so also won’t change the fact that he has decided that some people don’t have the right to life.
You won’t read a stronger denunciation of Obama’s opposition to the right to life than you will here.
In “Catholics and Obama” we say “We understand Barack Obama’s appeal” and explain what’s wrong with his policies.
In “Obama vs. the Right to Life” we name the three types of people Obama’s policies deny the right to life to.
In “We’re Waiting, Barack,” we explain how inconsistent Obama’s life position is with the history of the civil rights movement and end with a killer Raisin in the Sun quote.
And lest it be forgotten, we published “Obama’s Abortion Extremism” by Princeton’s Robert George simultaneously with the longer online version.
So, our advice remains the same. Don’t be polarized by rage. Let’s play to win.
A wise older press secretary once told me the secret to success in Washington. When you face a tidal wave of opinion, you’ve got two options. You can stand on the beach and shake your fist at it. And get wiped out. Or you can surf it.
Let’s be smart about this. Rather than saying, “Boy, that Obama guy’s sure putrescent in his wickedness, isn’t he? What a jerk!” Try: “Wow. It’s exciting to see a committed black father and his young family occupying the White House. The black pro-lifers the Register talked to are excited by it. But they’re worried, too. Did you know that abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community? In a day when we can see babies on ultrasound, there’s no longer any excuse to be anything but pro-life.”
Or, are you hoping that inchoate rage, just this once, will work after all?
That’s wishful thinking.
— Tom Hoopes
P.S. More from the Register and Laura Ingraham here ...