Why Conservatives Get Sandbagged By Liberals

A few weeks ago the Weekly Standard had a ridiculously hopeful editorial about how President Obama couldn’t possibly go any further to the left with his next SCOTUS pick because of the ideological basis upon which they sold Justice Sotomayor. For the Standard, Terry Eastland was sure that the logic by which Sotomayor was sold to the country would preclude a shift leftward for the next court pick. Unfortunately, Eastland proved once again that too many conservatives simply do not understand that liberalism does not rely on logic or consistency , it simply barrels forward with no heed to reason. You see, liberals are powermongers, not logicians. They only care about what wins not that their logic is consistent moment to moment. Eastland’s complete lack of understanding shows why conservatives are sideswiped by liberals every time.

Eastland’s main point was that during the confirmation process, Judge Sotomayor “dissented from her sponsor’s view of what a judge should be” by presenting her judicial philosophy as one based on a strict interpretation of the law. This, Eastland notes, is in stark contrast to President Obama’s apparently long-held belief that a judge needed “empathy” to be a good jurist.

Eastland notes that in 2005, then Senator Obama voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts “precisely because… the nominee came up short on the empathy measure.” Eastland then points out that early in the four-day-long confirmation process Sotomayor began “separating herself from Obama on the matter of empathy” and that her testimony eventually made explicit the difference between the nominee and her patron on that point.

Eastland then approvingly notes that many of the Democrat Senators quizzing Sotomayor seemed to crow about the fact that the nominee kept insisting that she’d judge strictly on the merits of the law and not on any subjective measure of empathy. Eastland was also happy to report that Obama even began to distance himself on the empathy scale by shying from such rhetoric as he sold the nomination of Sotomayor to the country. In Eastland’s point of view it all amounts to the end of the empathy test for judges because the Democrats were so successful in repudiating it by their rejoicing at Sotomayor’s claims at strict construction. In his piece, Eastland was sure that the Democrats ruined their use of judicial empathy forever more.

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Eastland sums up his point:

…it doesn’t appear that Sotomayor will be a compelling exponent of judicial liberalism. A vote for it certainly, but nothing more. Meanwhile, the Sotomayor hearings have made it politically harder for Obama to advance via his nominees a judicial philosophy that goes “beyond the process of law” and embraces some new “constitutional vision,” one that seeks to address what he described during the campaign as the country’s “empathy [that word again] deficit.” However wise if was tactically to pick Sotomayor… the choice weakens Obama’s ability to select “even more progressive” nominees. A small consolation for conservatives, I know, but in this era of united Democratic government, one to be taken nonetheless.

Would that all of this were true.

As I said, Eastland just doesn’t get it. He assumes that because Sotomayor was sold to the country as a judge that would stick strictly to the law that this has undermined the logical supposition of the “empathy” judge. Democrats simply cannot now go back to the empathy test for the next judge because they so obviously trampled the idea this time around, according to Eastland.

In a logical world, in a world where consistency and reason ruled the day, Eastland would be 100% right. How could one ever again take up the empathy test once it was so roundly repudiated? Unfortunately, Eastland will be the first to be sideswiped if the left does just that with the next court pick.

You see, what Eastland fails to understand is that legitimacy and logic does not rule the roost in a liberal’s mindset. Winning is the only rule. This time the Democratic Party elite determined that a “strict constructionist” was what was needed to present to the country and so Sotomayor was instructed to play that part. She did so admirably.

For his part, Eastland was taken in hook, line and sinker. The left played him for all he was worth. He actually believed that Sotomayor was repudiating the “wise Latina” philosophy that she spent the last 20 years espousing, he was taken like a rube in the big city by the drift from the empathy test that Obama pretended at as he sold Sotomayor to the world.

But, even if we can believe that Sotomayor won’t become the empathy judge and that Obama really did want a judge this time that would adjudicate strictly on the merits of the law, there is absolutely no reason whatever to believe that the left has hemmed itself in in its own mind with the Sotomayor nomination. After all, winning is its only goal and if it is determined that the next judge will be the empathy judge then the next judge will be the empathy judge despite the logical basis for selling Sotomayor.

The left does not care if they have a logical underpinning to their positions. They are situational in all things. They do what they think will win the day. If they think a sop to the extreme left with an empathy judge will win next time, each and every Senator that commented satisfactorily that Sotomayor said she would judge by the law alone will be knocking themselves out over the next candidate that will tout the empathy line. It simply does not matter what they said the last time. It is this time that they’ll care about. It is always this time that they care about, not the last time.

In the end, it makes no difference what they said in the past. It’s what will win that they will focus on next time. Eastland imagines that the left hemmed itself in by the logic it used to sell Sotomayor. Eastland also fully believed the nominee that there is no “wise Latina” in our future. He will be left scratching his head in confusion when Sotomayor is unleashed to be as far left as she wants to be quite regardless of what she said in her appearance before the Senate and he’ll be gobsmacked when the liberal establishment ignores its every logical basis for confirming Sotomayor when it goes back to the empathy test in the future.

Sadly, Eastland simply doesn’t understand that liberals don’t have any interest in logic. He and those like him are sideswiped by an arrogant, willful lack of liberal logic every time.

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