Steele Can’t Define Empathy

Steele: Perez Hilton Is Obama’s Kind Of “Empathetic Judge

Here’s RNC chairman Michael Steele in yet another embarrassing-to-hear radio diatribe. (Since Steele can’t beat Rush, maybe he plans to join him?)

Steele: … What was so outstanding about Miss California… Actually, let’s do a little parallel. This is again, again, a parallel to, this is what an empathetic judge looks like. The empathetic judge in this case, the judge of the beauty pageant, asked this woman a question and instead of taking her answer at face value, he was empathetic to a particular community and he thought her answer should be favorably disposed towards that particular community.

Michael says: “…he was “empathetic to a particular community”.

No, Michael, he was sympathetic to a particular community. The words are not synonyms. You can feel sympathy for a community. You cannot feel empathy towards a community. Empathy is a one-on-one emotion.

Steele says “this is what an empathetic judge looks like.” and calls Perez Hilton “[t]he empathetic judge in this case”. Both of these statements are incorrect.

If Hilton had felt any empathy towards Carrie Prejean, he would not have blog-blasted her or made the statements he made. Ripping the crown off someone’s head does not show empathy.  Again, empathy is not the same as sympathy.

Empathy is commonly explained as the ability to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. And not, as Michael Steele no doubt believes, so you’ll be a mile away and have their shoes.