Who knew the word "empathy" was such an evil word? I certainly didn't.
But apparently the King of Vitamin Supplements, Orrin Hatch, was completely offended when President Obama used it when he discussed his attributes in a Supreme Court judge. It's much worse than if the President threw an f-bomb his way' evidently, he needed to be talked down by the President himself or who knows what he might have done.
Hatch was on Hardball and needed to tell Matthews that he was reassured by Obama that the word that the late George Carlin would have added to his list of dirty words was not really a curse word after all.
Hatch: I have no problem with judges having a heart, wanting to do what's right and wanting to live within the legal constraints that do exist. When they start substituting their own personal policy preferences for what the law really is then that's the misuse of empathy, and a person like that shouldn't be sitting on the bench.
He might want to check Scalia's heart if he's fine with judges having one, but I'm glad he cleared that all up for us.
There's a story out tonight that President Obama may pick a Supreme Court nominee as early as this week, which doesn't surprise me much (and I still think, more than ever, that it will be federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor). What does surprise me, a little, is this bizarre interview with Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, recounting his phone conversation with the president:Hatch raised concerns initially that Obama was using “buzz words” for a liberal activist justice by suggesting he wanted someone who had “empathy” for the country’s problems. But Obama told Hatch “that was not what he meant, and I take him at his word ... and that he assured me that he would not be picking a radical or an extremist for the court that he was very pragmatic in his approach and that he would pick somebody who would abide by the rule of law.”
Really! I mean heaven forbid we had someone up there in a black robe actually caring about the problems and everyday concerns of Americans, as opposed to the button-down corporatist toadies we mostly have in there now. Did you know that "empathy" is an evil code word for "socialist," because I did not know that. In fact, here is the definition of "empathy" from Wikipedia:
Empathy is the capability to share your feelings and understand another's emotion and feelings. It is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes," or in some way experience what the other person is feeling.
I'll remember to note that when the word empathy is used again, what Orrin Hatch is hearing is "dirty f*&king hippie."