The definition of Empathy

15 07 2009

“I have followed this man’s career for some time,” said President George H.W. Bush of Clarence Thomas in July 1991. “He is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor.”

Interesting. Seems to me that empathy wasn’t that big of an issue in 1991, but in 2009… you’d swear it was a synonym for racism.

“I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook, it is also about how are laws effect the daily realities of peoples lives…. I view that quality of empathy [ie: racism], of understanding and identifying with peoples’ hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.” – President Obama

photofeature-sotomayor1 alg_sonia_sotomayor

That’s what the Republicans seem to want us to believe right now. They want us to look at Judge Sonia Sotomayor and see her as the epitome of a prejudiced blubbering idiot. Well, let me tell you something. I think that there’s a lot of things you can say about Ms. Sotomayor. You can say she’s an intelligent woman with high judicial qualifications, she’s a moderate in judicial rulings, she’s a wise Latina woman, and she’s getting unnecessarily slammed for saying what most people, I think, actually already believe. But a racist, nah…

The irony in it all is that the people who are attempting to call her and convince the nation that she’s a racist are all old white men. Forgive me, because this may come out slightly militant, but who the F do they think they are telling a Latina woman she’s racist?! Seriously… let’s get real here.

The entire appointing/hearing process that occurs for the nomination and acceptance of a Supreme Court Justice is political malarkey and the sooner everyone admits that, the better off we’ll be. I would rather the Republicans get up there and say, “Look, nothing against you, but we’re really worried that if you are confirmed, guns will be banned across the nation, abortions will grow exponentially, and homosexuals everywhere will be able to defile the sanctity of marriage.”

I would soooo respect that sooo much more. They’d be completely dead ass wrong, [because anyone who studies politics and specifically the Supreme Court and this particular group of folks, knows that Ms. Sotomayor’s confirmation will not really change the landscape of the Court all that much right now…. (now, if we could juuuuust get Scalia to retire, but that’s for another posting lol)], but hell, at least they’d be being honest, instead of hitting us with this straight nonsense!

Say what you want about Ms. Sotomayor. Her nomination by the President was an amazingly strategic nomination. You can’t tell me that President Obama is not aware of the fact that the Latino vote in America is up for grabs, the Republicans desperately want to grab it, and hey… it might not be in their best interest to try and cut down this extremely qualified Thurgood Marshall-like candidate.

I dont think there’s anything wrong with that… but, if you continue to deny that the nominations of Court Justices are  influenced by politics, that denies the strategy in this nomination and more importantly, it denies the significance and debases the reasons everyone is all up in my arms about her confirmation.

But maybe I’m wrong… maybe it’s not influenced by politics at all… and maybe, the Republicans have simply forgotten that they used the word empathy before and the Democrats have gone completely wacky and forgotten they were supposed to nominate a conservative person who will “follow the law strictly as it’s written in the constitution.”

What do you think?




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