Thursday, May 07, 2009


In my profession, empathy is a useful quality that helps me understand where people are coming from. But even in the psychiatric field, too much empathy can get in the way of helping a person become independent, functioning and eventually successful. I wrote in "Therapeutic Sensibility, Psychobabble and Postmodernism:
"The therapeutic sensibility", or what I call "therapeutic psychobabble", is not actually therapeutic (i.e., leading to healing) in the least.In fact, this sensibility often becomes the major impediment that prevents patients with serious emotional problems from taking control over their lives. And, for individuals who aren't patients (but soon will be, most likely) it reflects a passive world view, where a person is the helpless victim of forces outside their control.

The same "therapeutic psychobabble" now threatens one of the most fundamental legal principles of western civilization: the rule of law, which holds that all individuals are equal under the law.

When it comes to empathy as a key characteristic for choosing a Supreme Court Justice, the potential to undermine the rule of law, upon which our Republic is based, is enormous. In other words, it is a really really bad idea to think that feelings and emotions should dictate or significantly influence decisions in a presumably impartial court of law. Justice would no longer be blind, but open to the manipulations of the hysteria and political correctness du jour.

Thomas Sowell:
That we are discussing the next Supreme Court justice in terms of group “representation” is a sign of how far we have already strayed from the purpose of law and the weighty responsibility of appointing someone to sit for life on the highest court in the land.

That President Obama has made “empathy” with certain groups one of his criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee is a dangerous sign of how much farther the Supreme Court may be pushed away from the rule of law and toward even more arbitrary judicial edicts to advance the agenda of the Left and set it in legal concrete, immune from the democratic process.

Would you want to go into court to appear before a judge with “empathy” for groups A, B, and C, if you were a member of groups X, Y, or Z? Nothing could be farther from the rule of law. That would be bad news, even in a traffic court, much less in a court that has the last word on your rights under the Constitution of the United States.

Appoint enough Supreme Court justices with “empathy” for particular groups and you would have, for all practical purposes, repealed the 14th Amendment, which guarantees “equal protection of the laws” for all Americans
As Sowell says, its bad enough that this country (which, as I understand is supposedly in a "post-racial" epoch; PREMA) is making membership in a special group --any sanctioned special group--the most important criterion in the selection of a replacement for Justice Souter (why not have a gay/lesbian, muslim Republican? Now, there's a minority that is truly oppressed and worthy of empathy), This whole identity politics things has become truly insane.

As Jeff Goldstein notes, the natural end of identity politics is...ever more identity politics! And the natural end of diluting the rule of law in our courts with the rule of man is...the rule of gangs.

Sowell is sounding the alarm, but does anyone on the political left even care anymore about "shredding" the Constitution now that they have their Messiah in the White House? They don't need no stinkin' Constitution now. The nature of their game is becoming pretty obvious....

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for long, long years
Stole many man's soul and faith

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

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