Empathize with This!

Most of us understand why a liberal newspaper would fall in love with a liberal Supreme Court nominee chosen by a liberal president with whom they fell in love a long time ago.  This fits into the category of … What else is new?

Still, the love letter the New York Times passed off as an editorial on Judge Sotomayor went far beyond the predictable.  Sure, there was all the usual stuff about how she was “an inspired choice” and how she had a “compelling life story” and how “It’s impossible not be moved by Judge Sotomayor’s story.”  But this wasn’t commentary so much as it was stenography.  I heard the same glowing endorsement, practically word for word, from the president’s political gang on cable television.  I repeat … What else is new?

Well, what’s new is not that the Times is now slobbering over Judge Sotomayor just as it slobbered over Barack Obama.  No, the surprise – admittedly, not a big one – is that the folks who write editorials over there on Mt. Olympus are even more clueless than even a cynic might have thought.

“In her rulings,” the editorial stated, “Judge Sotomayor has repeatedly displayed the empathy Mr. Obama has said he is looking for in a justice.”

Really?  What empathy did Judge Sotomayor show those firefighters from New Haven, Connecticut who didn’t get their promotions simply because they were white?  They studied hard.  They passed the test.  They played by all the rules, only to be told that the rules had been thrown out – simply because no black firefighters passed the test.

Empathy?  Judge Sotomayor didn’t exhibit an ounce of empathy for those men even though they clearly were the victims of racial discrimination at the hands of a powerful government.  In the judge’s world does empathy only come into play when the victims of bigotry are anything but white and male?

I can understand why this would not trouble President Obama, who said he was looking for a judge with empathy.  When you cut through the cool, Mr. Obama is just a slick Chicago pol who could sell ice cubes to Eskimos.  Besides, as Karl Rove said, “Empathy is the latest code word for liberal activism.”

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