Common ground

COMMON GROUND…. It looks like the president was sincere when he committed to reaching out to those with whom he disagrees, searching for common ground. Focus on the Family issued this press release the other day. (via Kyle at Right Wing Watch)

The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships hosted adoption leaders from across the country Wednesday to talk about how to better serve the needs of kids in foster care.

Kelly Rosati, adoptive mother of four and senior director of Focus on the Family’s Sanctity of Human Life department, was among those in attendance.

“The Obama administration is really listening,” she said, “and wanted to know from those on the front lines what could be better done to serve the kids in America’s foster care system.”

Unfortunately, the president supports placing some of those kids with homosexual couples.

Rosati said the White House expressed its appreciation for Focus’ commitment to the issue.

“One of the things that emerged from the meeting,” she said, “was that adoption recruiting events, such as Focus’ Wait No More, are essential to our ability to find families for those waiting kids.”

Focus on the Family anticipates ongoing dialogue with the White House on adoption.

Just so we’re clear, there’s only one group called “Focus on the Family.” This isn’t a statement issued by some other organization that happens to have the same name. It’s a press release from the religious right group, created by James Dobson, which is apparently impressed by the Obama White House’s efforts on adoption and foster care.

It’s striking to think Focus representatives and Obama administration officials would get together to discuss policy, and have a fruitful discussion, but that’s apparently what transpired. To put this in perspective, imagine George W. Bush aides agreeing to meet with representatives of the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and/or People for the American Way, to explore common ground on any issue.

If that sounds like a ridiculous scenario, then you can appreciate why this meeting is unusual.

Obama has repeatedly emphasized his desire to find common purpose with the right, looking for areas in which their agendas overlap. I guess he meant it.

Any chance the religious right, appreciative of productive outreach like this, will be less hateful and vicious towards the president? I doubt it, but it’s nice of the White House to give it a try anyway.