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a thought on politics.

Only in politics can "empathy" be turned into a bad word. Only in politics will the notion of using your personal experiences to help you make decisions by shown to be wrong thinking.

Oh well.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
shieldhaven
Jul. 14th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
Amusingly, this was done by people who didn't condemn or block Alito when he made similar statements during his own confirmation hearings.
bad_grief
Jul. 14th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
I don't necessarily agree with "Only in Politics"
Being too empathetic is often a noted misstep of any leader or authority figure.

I've personally seen professors reprimanded for being too empathetic towards students, hotel employees being fired, and civil servants being reprimanded for the same.

Its perfectly viable to bring into question how someone will deal with their empathy in the decision making process.

That being said, I whole heartedly agree its being taken too far and abused.

shieldhaven
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
I have to say, our friend Bill Shakespeare phrased this very well, and it's something the lawmakers could stand to recall.

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd,
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

Portia. The Merchant of Venice. Act IV, Scene 1:
Venice. A Court of Justice.
twelveoaks
Jul. 14th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
Brandes is my hero.
lanaoceanid
Jul. 14th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
I think there is a scene in the beginning quarter of the movie The Incredibles that illustrates this. With Bob Parr nearly getting fired for trying to help a little old lady with her insurance claim.

Bureaucracy is not about helping the customer/taxpayer/society, it's about helping the bureaucracy.
gr8tmazinkaiser
Jul. 14th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
Now, because I don't recall... how is an appointee confirmed again?

Do they need a 2/3rds agreement? 'cuz if not I'm pretty sure Senator Franken pretty much clinched the need for any actual hearings (in fact, if not in practice).
ikara_fox
Jul. 14th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
I hate the recent term to describe "toxic assets" as "legacy assets".
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