HITLERING FROM THE BENCH  3:11 pm May 8, 2009

What Is This ‘Empathy’ Word, And Why Does It Make Barack Obama Hitler?

by Jim Newell

Tommmcatt is also HitlerThis is where we are with the Republican party right now: Barack Obama could appoint Ronald motherfucking Reagan and eight of his perfect clones to run the entire Supreme Court, and the right wing politicians and pundits would stand in firm opposition to this illegal Puerto Rican socialist community organizer Nazi faggot activist “Hollywood actor” and throw teabags at his grave. This nomination process is already hilarious, and we have several more months of it. Remember last week when Obama said he wanted “empathy” as a characteristic for his Supreme Court nominee, and how that word went over on the right, as soon as they dictionary.com’d it? They’re still going on about that, with two arguments: (1) even after dictionary.com-ing it, they still don’t know what it means and so it’s an evil liberal word, and (2) Hitler.

Give credit to Sen. Jeff Sessions, ok? Guy doesn’t know what this queer three-syllable fake Harvard nonsense means — sounds like an expensive-like word, dunnit? — and he’ll just say that in an interview, because all Republicans care about is the rule of law and enforcing the law and not giving everyone welfare from the bench.

Q: When you hear President Obama talk about nominating someone to the court who has empathy and real-world experience, do you understand what he means?

Sessions: I don’t know what he means. And it’s dangerous, because I don’t know what empathy means. So I’m one judge and I have empathy for you and not this party, and so I’m going to rule for the one I have empathy with? So what if the guy doesn’t like your haircut, or for some reason doesn’t like you, is he now free to rule one way or the other based on likes, predilections, politics, personal values?

Well, Democrats? Should a judge rule against someone if the judge doesn’t like that person’s hair cut? Try answering that one with your dumb “empathy” super power lasers.

MEANWHILE at the National Review, Thomas Sowell doesn’t waste any time analyzing the results of his dictionary.com search.

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.


Barack Obama solves this contradiction, as he solves so many other problems, with rhetoric. If you believe in the rule of law, he will say the words “rule of law.” And if you are willing to buy it, he will keep on selling it.

Those people who just accept soothing words from politicians they like are gambling with the future of a nation. If you were German, would you be in favor of a law “to relieve the distress of the German people and nation”? That was the law that gave Hitler dictatorial power.

He was just another German chancellor at the time. He was not elected on a platform of war, dictatorship, or genocide. He got the power to do those things because of a law “to relieve the distress of the German people.”

When you buy words, you had better know what you are buying.

…Can we just get a nominee first?

‘Empathy’ vs. Law [National Review]
Sessions Says He’s Looking For Judicial Restraint [National Journal]

Related video

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Tommmcatt May 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm

What have we told you about not giving alt, young man?

emmasue May 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm

The prez loves a little empathy with his dijon mustard thank u very much!

V572625694 May 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Let’s look at Jeff Sessions haircut:


Do we like it?

space stout May 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm

i need some alt-text to explain why the prez has a geri-curl.

chascates May 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Empathy = identify with another’s feelings = not identifying with corporate or reactionary positions = ‘activist’ = communistic America-hating atheist = rebranding of GOP as new, improved values party

Prommie May 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are good for premature ejaculation.

sati demise May 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I would like to buy a vowel, Pat.

Give me an F.U.

Chain Tattoo May 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Sessions wants judicial restraint? Is that some kind of BDSM thing?


sati demise May 8, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Is he talking about Buysh/Cheney?
I haz confuzed.

RoscoePColtraine May 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Maybe the elite Republicans had to go to dictionary.com. But your garden variety wingnut had to look it up in good ol’ Webster’s, because they still don’t know you can do your lookin up on the intertubes.

revbob May 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Do we like J. Beauregard Sessions’ haircut? I can see him hitling way over here.

JMP May 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

The “empathy” comment obviously means that Obama is planning on nominating a Betazoid for the Supreme Court. This proves that he is letting his concern for diversity override the need to pick the best candidate, who of course would be a white, human male.

BigIrish May 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

You know what’s interesting? Fox News/ the right-wing social conservatives and the Taliban operate on the same M.O. Relentless fear-mongering.

jagorev May 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Ha ha alt-text ftw

Tommmcatt May 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Ah, Newell wins the internet today. You rule, seriously.

Naked Bunny with a Whip May 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I understand your point, Jim, but just for the record: Obama isn’t going to nominate none Ronald Reagans to the Supreme Court, is he? I mean, this is how rumors get started, like the rumor that Obama was born in the backward, foreign land of Hawaii.

queeraselvis v 2.0 May 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Here’s an analogy… Jeff Sessions::frothing at the mouth Klanbake Republitard as empthy::gratitous buttsecks.


x111e7thst May 8, 2009 at 3:27 pm

As far as I can tell Tommmcatt is a member of the Hitler Jugend or maybe the S.A., not Hitler himself. Why doe Wonkette hate Tommmcatt.

Min May 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Hitlerisms are the last refuge of scoundrels.

american mutt May 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm

empathy and mustard are a dish best served cold.

x111e7thst May 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm

[re=312057]x111e7thst[/re]: Does = Am Fail

Noonan May 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Dude says: “He was just another German chancellor at the time”

History says: Mein Kampf published 1926. Hitler sworn in as Chancellor 1933.

Noonan says: That ain’t no regular chancellor, Dude.

Now, I haven’t read “Dreams of Daddies” or whatever (just listened to the part about Obama talking about bitches, niggers and fries), but I don’t think it’s the same.

The Cold Sea May 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

[re=312049]BigIrish[/re]: That’s because essentially, they are the same.

freakishlystrong May 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

[re=312028]V572625694[/re]: Gay Hitler. And yellow mustard also.

Naked Bunny with a Whip May 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Sowell has a point. Empathy for fellow human beings is clearly banned by the Constitution, in Article *mumblemumble*.

chascates May 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

via Think Progress:
Guest hosting Bill Bennett’s radio show today, RNC chairman Michael Steele derided “crazy nonsense empathetic.” “I’ll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind!” said Steele.

magic titty May 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Yeah so what the fuck is Jeff Sessions talking about?

And why do all these dim-bulb crackers have names like ‘Jeff Sessions’?

The Cold Sea May 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Today, we’re all Tommmcatts.

One Yield Regular May 8, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Wait, that Thomas Sowell thing was in National Review? The same outfit in which K-Lo works out her meandering notion of the day?

What’s next? Tom Wolfe writing for “Highlights”? Bjorn Lomborg in “Ranger Rick”?

ChernobylSoup May 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Let’s turn this whole ‘slippery slope’ scare back on the christianists. They think, say, you allow two men to get married. According to the bible thumpers, that means next we’ll let trannies marry ferrets. Stupid, but there you go.

Now let’s look at an actual slippery slope: Christians, particularly Baptist, have been allowed to make up ‘sins’ that were never mentioned as sins in the bible: Like, say, drinking and dancing. Since they were allowed to do that, they’ve taken it further and added ‘tolerance’ and ‘empathy’ as sins.

AxmxZ May 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Sessions ought to make like Inspector Javert. There’s got to be a suitable bridge around D.C. somewheres.

snideinplainsight May 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm

If you believe in the rule of law, he will say the words “rule of law.” And if you are willing to buy it, he will keep on selling it. If you believe in, say, “purple pajamas”, he will say “purple pajamas” for you, and if you will pay for it, he will keep saying it for you. But it’s dangerous, dangerous I tell you. Because I don’t know what it means. It could mean anything. It could mean favoring certain individuals and groups over others. And there, just like that, you have pajamas activism. From the bench. So I’m one judge and I have empathy for you and not this party. Do you like my haircut?

bonghitsforjesus May 8, 2009 at 3:36 pm

“When you buy words, you had better know what you are buying.”
Too True. Otherwise you might end up with a huge expansion and restructuring of your federal government with unlimited and secret powers for the executive branch, a brain dead bunch of inbred closeted sex texting sociopathic bible thumping yobs for representatives and a judiciary either too power mad or held hostage by mandatory sentencing rules to notice that you sold your country out for a shiny happy word like *Patriot*.

McDuff May 8, 2009 at 3:36 pm

SCOTUS, 1954, in the alt universe of Sowell, Sessions, et al:

Sorry Mr. Brown, we must have no empathy for you or your children and they must continue to attend under funded, run-down, “Negro” schools because we must follow the precident of Plessey v. Fergunson — sorry, but our hands are tied so to speak, kind of like those fellows featured in the lynching post cards polite people in the South like to hand out at Christmas parties.

snideinplainsight May 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm

We are all our mothers’ daughters, also. Except those of us who are boys.

Prommie May 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Sessions is just mad because that boy Obama won’t watch what he says around the white folks.

Gorillionaire May 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I am very much looking forward to Supreme Court Justice Anita Hill.

The Cold Sea May 8, 2009 at 3:39 pm

[re=312069]magic titty[/re]: It’s actually Jefferson Sessions and the Jefferson ain’t in reference to the one with the monument in DC. It’s that other Jefferson. The one who was arrested while disguised as a woman on the run after teh General Lee butt-surrendered for ass seks.

Brendan M. May 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Thomas Sowell, an African-American, opposes the Emancipation Proclamation as a gross abuse of executive/federal power.

wheelie May 8, 2009 at 3:42 pm

You may laugh now, but when n00bama annexes Quebec you will have to flee for your lives.

Accordion-o-rama May 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm

You know Thomas, “Empathy? You know who also had empathy? Hitler!” might not be your strongest argument here.

DeLand DeLakes May 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm

This is what happens when people read nothing but Third Reich-themed gay porn. There aren’t a lot of words in those magazines, so “empathy” would indeed appear quite foreign.

Alldat May 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Once again, my homeboy Jefferson Beauregard makes me cringe. But that’s OK. At this point, I pretty much cringe automatically whenever I hear his voice. On the bright side, I finally saw my first Trucknutz today!! They were accessorizing a late model F-150 which also featured some NRA stickers and a decal that said “Jacked up cause fat chicks can’t jump.” Hurray!

SayItWithWookies May 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Here’s your problem right here, Mr. Sowell — it looks like the flange on your free market assembly was out of position, and has been pushing down on the Red Scare button for the last — well, whenever your last oil change was. It’s been injecting your system with hyperbolic paranoid fantasies for so long now you’ve probably lost all touch with reality — like those burned-out ravers with all the fried circuits. Well cut way back on the coffee, try to remember you’re a rich bastard, get a blowjob every so often — oh, and try to stop saying “Wolverines” so much. You should start feeling better in a few months.

gjdodger May 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm

He’ll march through France and give us Vichy-soisse with our Dijon.

Mad Farmer Manifest May 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm

A defining characteristic of sociopaths is a lack of empathy for other human beings. Just sayin’

Iggy Plop May 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Sessions: “I don’t know what he means. And I’m dangerous, because I am a nationally elected politician with a potentially devastating effect on federal policy and I’m so illiterate I don’t know what empathy means.”


Woodwards Friend May 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm

You know the Nazis had pieces of flare that they made the Jews wear.

Atheist Nun May 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Hey republiDorks:

#1: Do not punish the rest of us because you are uneducated, ignorant, and superstitious cavemen.
#2: Empathy: as an Atheist, it’s one tool I use to decide to do the right thing in the world, while you are all mindless drones that follow blindly doing whatever the child molester in the long robe tells you to do. That makes me, the Atheist, “better than you.”
#3: Go shove a mustard jar up your ass.

The Cold Sea May 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

[re=312094]Mad Farmer Manifest[/re]: win

bitchincamaro May 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm

[re=312028]V572625694[/re]: That haircut’s got “swift-kick me in the nuts, with all you’ve got” written all over it.

snideinplainsight May 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm

You know, what is missing from this discussion is the drones. Nobody talks about the drones. Those drones are up there, cruising, …droning, droning away, possibly, probably, and I’ll tell you what? They have no empathy at all, especially for “certain people or groups”. Nobody is talking about these drones! That’s the issue. That’s the real issue, I think. And telePromPterz. Them too.

Woodwards Friend May 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm

You know Sowell and Sessions shouldn’t be angry so much at Obama but at the fucking Godless communist English who established “promissory estoppel may be used as a shield but not a sword” as a central tenant of Anglo-American common law. What kind of empathy bullshit is that?

Leopolt May 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Godwin’s Law for the fail, Sowell. Keerist, I hate these fucks. As Jonathan Winters once said, “Oh Lord, there must be some way we can launch these turkeys into space!”

McDuff May 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm

[re=312092]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Win.

Come here a minute May 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Sowell beautifully changed Obama’s statement, “I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving as just decisions and outcomes,” to “President Obama has made “empathy” with certain groups one of his criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee” (my emphasis).

Lovely. I guess that just proves he is looking for a Dijon sympathizer. (Empathizer?)

doxastic May 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Sure, Thomas, real men don’t settle complex ethical problems in a diverse society with words, they do so with their fists (or, more accurately, with automatic weapons). This explains why Hitler’s early attempt to use deliberation-bombs, discourse-missiles and debate-gas proved so wildly unsuccessful.

(Signed, an actual rhetorician)

Raumfahrer May 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm

[re=312077]McDuff[/re]: Epic win.

Lascauxcaveman May 8, 2009 at 4:05 pm

How about this Mr. Sessions: “tarte aux pommes.” Sounds pretty fucking dangerous, huh? Possibly a terrorist weapon? A rare, incurable virus? A poisonous snake?

Goddam right it’s dangerous. Dangerous as apple pie.

Jean Hotman, Marquis de Villers-St-Paul May 8, 2009 at 4:10 pm

‘Empathy’ is a translation of a word Einfühlung, which is a German word. I see Hitler here.

ManchuCandidate May 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Yes retards, it takes empathy to kill millions like Hitler did.

AnnieGetYourFun May 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm

[re=312092]SayItWithWookies[/re]: I love you SO damn much.

PancakeBreakfast May 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm


Tommmcatt May 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm


So does the suit.

PancakeBreakfast May 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm

JESUS. EFFING. CHRIST. SOWELL. “Those people who just accept soothing words from politicians they like are gambling with the future of a nation.” There are too many examples of the Bush administration using language to fuck with the country and distract the easily confused to even begin to poke holes in this human colostomy bag’s logic. Does he think people’s memories are THAT bad? For shitssake!

Baseproduct May 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm

[re=312081]Gorillionaire[/re]: Win.

Mad Farmer Manifest May 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm

[re=312028]V572625694[/re]: That look on his face. It looks like he just got caught fucking the cat and he’s trying to act natural.

Bearbloke May 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm

[re=312028]V572625694[/re]: Sen. Sessions also has those ‘hold-on-tight-while-you-facefuck-me’ ears that probably came in very handy during previous ‘sessions’ with his Pa, Grandpa and uncles……

Naked Bunny with a Whip May 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm

[re=312028]V572625694[/re]: Wow. People don’t come much pinker than Sessions.

gidgetbananas May 8, 2009 at 4:36 pm

The intertube definition of empathy I found say it’s “the intellectual identification of the thoughts, feelings, or state of another person.” No wonder Republicans can’t stand the word, it implies thought, which everyone knows is terribly, terribly ghey.

June Cleaver 2.0 May 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Are they talking about our mild-mannered, gentlemanly, reasonable-sounding prez? The Republicans are crazy. I love the fact that when I have grandchildren, and they come to me and ask me to help them with their homework, and ask about this Republican Party, I can tell them I was alive when the Republicans went the way of the Whigs. They will be some fun old-timey stories. My grandkids will want to come visit me just so I can tell them stories about the Republicans. Crazy.

GreatOldOnesParty May 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm

If teh Uber Court did nothing but follow teh Rule O’ LOLz, wouldn’t that be NOT doing their job?
And what’s with: “is he now free to rule one way or the other based on likes, predilections, politics, personal values?”
Aren’t those the exact things that W looked for when nominating his cleaning lady?

Scandinavian Fetus May 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm

If Obama turns out to be the Second Coming, the Right will still think he’s a fucking asshole.

K. Signal Eingang May 8, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Christ when I got to Sowell’s “soothing words” bit I honestly thought that was Wonkette again making fun of him. I can’t believe that’s actually his argument. The law that gave Hitler dictatorial powers had words in it, therefore, words = Hitler. Holy shit.

Naked Bunny with a Whip May 8, 2009 at 5:05 pm

@Scandinavian Fetus: So will I. I’ve read Revelation. That’s some fucked up shit.

19kevin8 May 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm

What about us bald bastards? Do we get empathized out of existence by “President” Obama’s nazi faggot SCOTUS pick?

Scandinavian Fetus May 8, 2009 at 5:29 pm

So that is what Obama looks like with his hair conked.

dijetlo May 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Beware soothing words…but you can always believe the guy in the bunker screaming “Kill them! Kill the ALL!”
HE has has his finger on the pulse of the nation…
Unfortunately the nation is Somalia.

19kevin8 May 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm

[re=312047]revbob[/re]: You are referring to Jefferson B.S. the Turd?

Bearbloke May 8, 2009 at 5:43 pm

WARNING!!! – So VERY NOT Work/Kid/Stomach/Sanity-safe… but GOP Platform-approved, as long as you do it in private and loathe yourself for being a ‘sick sinful queer’…

[re=312100]Atheist Nun[/re]:
“#3: Go shove a mustard jar up your ass.”

iolanthe May 8, 2009 at 5:46 pm

[re=312042]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: Like a garden variety wingnut even *owns* a copy of Webster’s!

They haven’t cracked a dictionary since high school graduation day.

I know these people. There are no book in their houses. The TV is on all the time, whenever anyone is home. And it’s usually tuned to Fox.

iolanthe May 8, 2009 at 5:55 pm

[re=312116]Woodwards Friend[/re]: central “tenet” not “tenant.” They both come from “tenere” =
to hold (like tenacious, etc.). But they’re not the same word. A tenet is a core principle or belief that one holds; a tenant holds possession of a property.

I’m seeing those words confused a lot lately, and … you’re all better than that.

I just don’t want to see this crowd, two years down the road, spelling like Neocons and other folks who don’t pay attention to language.

Atheist Nun May 8, 2009 at 5:59 pm

[re=312304]Bearbloke[/re]: I’m so not clicking that!

Jean Hotman, Marquis de Villers-St-Paul May 8, 2009 at 6:53 pm

[re=312304]Bearbloke[/re]: This Mr. Wurzelbacher is such an attention whore.

Links May 8, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Having empathy is having the ability to walk in other people’s shoes. Other people’s shoes, people! Why is this preznint so interested in other people’s footwear? Doesn’t he have his own shoes? Will the federal government take all of our shoes to walk in them? Obviously, this is socialism. It’s so clear, but the media won’t report it! They are all in the tank.

FindsThemAndKillsThem May 8, 2009 at 11:33 pm

@bonghitsforjesus: Win

schvitzatura May 8, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Does schadenfreude count as empathy, of a sorts?

Just the quality we need in a nominee to balance out Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas.

lulz-enfreude, perhaps?

font9a May 9, 2009 at 12:47 am

on beauregard: reminds me of that dog in the old 70′s era Looney Toons.

then, i non-sequitor to another fine 70′s era axiom: gas, grass, or ass – no one rides for free.

finally, in conclusion beauregard’s toupee = touche muthafuckas.

But that reminds me post hoc of Empathy for the Devil by the R. Stones….

“I’m a man of wealth and taste”

Bruno May 9, 2009 at 5:04 am

Wait. What happened to the Bush Sr. wanting “a kinder and gentler America”?

GreatOldOnesParty May 9, 2009 at 4:45 pm

[re=312583]Bruno[/re]: Bush Sr. is a level-headed moderate compared to the whack-jobs and twat-rockets running the GOP. I’m surprised he hasn’t disowned Jr. yet.

what tha? May 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Poor Jeff Sessions, he sat on his behind while Bush shredded our Constitution into confetti and now he is stuck fighting issues like “I hate empathy”. That will bring the republicans back from their toilet bowl of irrelevance. Oh yeah.

hip hop videos guy May 10, 2009 at 6:04 pm

yes he does remind me of a charming hitler…

Hagar77 May 11, 2009 at 12:34 am

I agree with Senator Sessions that it’s dangerous that Senator Sessions doesn’t know what “empathy” means.

Also, Sowell, I believe that the president just said “empathy.” He didn’t say empathy “with” anyone in particular. And “empathy” is a positive quality; it takes a real shitheel to turn it into a four-letter word. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the GOP.

lumpenprole May 11, 2009 at 3:49 am

Maybe he’s a psychopath and really doesn’t know anything about empathy.

lampadadog May 11, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Judges should rule on what the law says, with no regard for how it will affect the particular people involved. You know, if the law says the sentence can be anywhere from 5-25 years, you just throw a dart at the wall and see where it lands. None of this “empathy” bullshit about what the victim suffered, or what kind of history the perp had.

lukewarm August 5, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Okay, Wonkette, I guess I can see how you’d be comparing Obama to Hitler and then seem full of hate, if I didn’t really know how language worked.

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