Example #9,294,263 why the "liberal media" meme is complete b.s.
Bernie Kerik was a notorious hardass as NYC Police Commissioner. Rules were for the little guy, as he went patrolling NYC streets with a posse of cops known for their brutality. When caught not disclosing gifts and subsequently indicted for tax fraud, conspiracy and making false statements, Kerik tried to influence the trial by disclosing information to taint the jury pool.
In a rare incident of the elite being held accountable for their transgressions, Kerik was found guilty and sentenced to three years of prison.
And in prison, Bernard Kerik found his empathy.
Just like Rob Portman discovering tolerance when his gay son came out to him, or Chris Christie's personal friendships with Muslims having him decry anti-Muslim hatred from the right, conservative empathy occurs only when forced upon them by their own circumstances. The notion of empathy on its own is antithetical to conservative thought.
Conservatives see the world as a more threatening place because their brains predispose them to being fearful (2). They are also predisposed by brain biology to hating complexity and compromise. That would help to explain why politics can be so polarized.
Now make no mistake, I'm very happy for Kerik that he's seen the light. I'm grateful that something has pierced through the hardened shell of his heart and made him realize that not everyone who sits in a jail is a loser moocher on society with no redeemable qualities. It's a good thing that he realizes that the prison system is bloated, inefficient and harming society.
But guess what, David Gregory? There's been a segment of activists saying this for years, railing against the conflict of interests that prison privatization poses, asking for the end of "mandatory minimums", calling for not imprisoning for minor drug offenses, focusing on drug rehabilitation, job training and even more importantly, focus on issues of poverty before prison becomes the only option. You know who those people are, Dancin' Dave?
And yet you have NEVER had one on to discuss prison reforms. It only becomes a legitimate discussion when a reformed conservative finds empathy on the issue.