Wow. Mike Potemra wades into the discussion over Cardinal Dolan’s invite to Obama.
He admonishes all the critics of the invite to chill because:
there is zero risk that it will be reduced, in its importance, to a single photo that helps Obama by showing him with Cardinal Dolan.
Dolan has a chance here to reach people, and I think he’s right to take it. Bill McGurn is correct that it’s a high-risk strategy. I personally would be more worried that Dolan would cross the line into being too tough on Obama, look partisan as a result, and have the event backfire, than that Dolan might just roll over for an Obama photo-op. But here’s the thing: I think Dolan has enough talent to be able to pull this off, to thread the needle between obsequiousness and impoliteness. (Even to phrase it this way is to underline how insultingly low an opinion of Dolan many of the critics seem to have.)
In short: a teaching moment at a tense time in our country’s history. Cardinal Dolan has grabbed the moment to put his church and its views center-stage. His flock should be proud of him, and wish him well as he gets up on the high-wire. For him not to do so, to not take that risk . . . now that would be going back to “business as usual.”
Zero risk? Really? And now we are back to the teachable moment trope.
Reminds me of the time the pundit class admonished the reactionary class how the Republican budget disaster was actually a victory because “we changed the conversation.” Yeah, we really taught them a lesson.
And if Obama bests Dolan and successfully uses this opportunity to further confuse and divide Catholics, well I suppose that will be a teachable moment too.
For all the “teachable moments” for the last 40 years, nobody seems to learn anything.