Thursday, May 28, 2009

GOP Code Word: “Empathy? What’s that?”

Why does the media falls all over itself complementing the Republicans for their transparent use of word games? To add insult to injury, Democrats just don’t understand the game or have the time for it. They don’t understand its power of selling an idea. So what I’m about to do here will fade as quickly as clicking to another page.

First, let’s set up my liberal attempt at word gaming, which I gave away in the title of this piece. From the NY Times:

(President) Obama set forth his criteria for a (Supreme Court Justice) replacement by declaring that he viewed “that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient.” But now that conservatives have hijacked empathy and turned it into an epithet — “a code word for an activist judge,” as Senator Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, said recently on ABC.
The comeback: The next time you hear a Republican say the word empathy, respond that it's a code word for “What’s that?”

It’s not only kind of snarky, but it’s true. But for those in the GOP who have heard the word before and have looked up its meaning, they often times try to educate fellow conservatives with a quick definition.

Ed Gillespie, a former counselor to Mr. Bush, said it was no surprise that the White House dropped the word empathy. “Empathy is all about your feelings and your emotions.”
Thank you Ed, but what do “feelings” and “emotions” mean?

And who could forget Bush 1 and his support for the "empathy" laden Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court?

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