Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Empathy and the Double Standard

Just about on the same day two political assassins struck and killed Americans in America.

Abortion doctor George Tiller was killed on a Sunday in church and anti-abortion Christian extremist Scott Roeder is the suspected killer.

On Monday two military recruiters were killed in Arkansas. The suspected killer is Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a black convert to Islam.

Everyone from President Obama to pro-life groups has condemned the murder of George Tiller. Everyone from President Obama to anti-war Code Pink has NOT condemned the Arkansas killing.

It just shows the problem with the "empathy" approach to the law advocated by President Obama and mainstream liberals everywhere.

You see, when you have empathy for someone then you might be willing to understand why they were driven to murder an evil abortion doctor. Or, you might be willing to understand, from another perspective, why they might feel driven to kill an evil military recruiter.

People are social animals; they pick up cues from their peers and from authority figures. So when President Obama hurries to condemn the terrorist killing of an abortion doctor, he sends a message. When he doesn't hurry to condemn the murder of recruiter Pvt. William Long, he sends a message.

When President Obama talks about "empathy" as an aspect of judging, he is sending a message. He is launching the notion that, where certain favored groups are concerned, he would hope that his judges would nudge the scales of justice. What does that mean for people not included in the warmth of his empathy?

Judge Sotomayor is a woman who has talked about the special qualities of a "wise Latina woman." But statements like that raise questions about her impartiality when she participates in a appeals case on race and turns down one side or another flat without formal review.

Justice must be done, and also justice must be seen to be done. The process is as important as the result.

If I were advising our liberal friends, I would tell them that they have a problem on this. Liberals have had a grand old time for the last half century running around accusing people of being racists, sexists, and homophobes. There is almost no way of rebutting such accusations without getting into the "when did you stop beating your wife" situation. The trouble is that with that sort of talk you make enemies every time you open your mouth.

Life was easy for liberals when they were running around calling Bush a liar. When you are in opposition, you got a right to get a bit of slack.

But when you are the government, then your careless accusations get taken very seriously indeed. That's when people start looking at your actions and your rhetoric and discovering a double standard.

Pretty soon they decide it is Time for a Change.

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