Good for conservative Catholic blogger Pia de Solenni, who has just done a great and brave service to the cause of truth and civility. We have all heard about Hilary Rosen’s dumb comments about Ann Romney, comments that did severe damage to the Democrats’ claim to be the party that respects women. A certain type of activist, though, is always on the lookout for ways to seize defeat from the jaws of victory, so a group calling itself the Catholic League tweeted the following: “Lesbian Dem Hilary Rosen tells Ann Romney she never worked a day in her life. Unlike Rosen, who had to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her own.” (I say calling itself the Catholic League, not because I question its claim to be Catholic, but merely because I do not want to leave NRO readers with the misimpression that it speaks for Catholics, or that the average Catholic says, or wants to say, this sort of thing. Indeed, it is my hope that, in their more sober and reflective moments, even the folks at the Catholic League don’t think this was right.)
Now, I need not explain just how colossally dumb — not to mention counterproductive — this tweet was, because Pia de Solenni has already done a perfect job of it:
Ouch. Not only is this not Catholic in any way, shape, or form. It’s simply unnecessary. With whom Rosen chooses to share her bed has nothing to do with her statement on Ann Romney and her experience with economics. Additionally, are we now suggesting that there’s something unCatholic about adoption? If so, then we’re going to have to revisit the core of our theology . . .
The Catholic League has done a good job defending the Catholic Church on many issues. But the type of response exemplified in the above tweet makes the same fundamental communications error that Rosen made. It’s completely off message and ad hominem (ad mulierem, to be precise).
It also sounds hateful/spiteful, not unlike Rosen’s comments. And that’s another sign of bad communications strategy. When you start spewing negative emotion, any constructive (even if critical) message is lost.
To a casual observer, the takeaway from CL’s tweet is that the Catholic Church doesn’t like people who are attracted to the same sex. And that the Catholic Church doesn’t support adoption. Neither of these conclusions are true. Meanwhile, any commentary on Rosen’s remarks about Ann Romney is completely lost.
Spot on, Ms. de Solenni. In a tweet that managed to concentrate an amazing amount of offensiveness in a very confined space, it was the demeaning remark about adoption that I found especially gobsmacking. It is generally agreed that saying hateful things that make Catholics look bad is anti-Catholicism; by that definition, the CL’s tweet was . . . anti-Catholic.
(Props, also, to conservative Catholic journalist Michael Brendan Dougherty for his delightfully funny denunciation of that same tweet on Bloggingheads.)