John Roberts’ Touch-Feely Deficit

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005 9:51 am by Neal

George Will points out the plain stupidity of California Senator Diane Feinstein’s remarks on why Judge John Roberts is not qualified to be the next Supreme Court Justice: his lack of “reach-out-ability” that is so important in the alternate universe known as California. In the essay, Cue the Violin, Will exposes the incredible arrogance and self-righteousness of an elitist, leftist Senator convinced she’s “in touch” with “the people”. Will concludes,

Feinstein said, “His answer failed to recognize the point of the question and the concern about staying in touch with people who have different life experiences.” Well, what was the point of the question?

At the risk of revealing a serious empathy deficit, one might ask: What is the importance of a Supreme Court justice understanding the problems of lettuce farmers in California’s Central Valley? How, in the course of performing his judicial duties, does a justice reach out to, and stay in touch with, those farmers? Perhaps justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, two of Feinstein’s pin-ups, routinely do the empathetic things that Roberts, Feinstein has decided, does not know how to do, or is too emotionally impoverished to do. But how does any of what Feinstein was talking about pertain to judging?

Remarkably, Feinstein was reading her statement. So her mare’s nest of inapposite words and unclear thoughts cannot be excused as symptoms of Biden’s Disease, that form of logorrhea that causes victims, such as Sen. Joe Biden, to become lost on the syntactical backroads of their extemporaneous rhetoric.

Feinstein should have been more fluent because she was talking, as senators are wont to do, about … herself. Some of her “questions” to Roberts were a familiar form of preening, of moral exhibitionism. They were an example of how liberals compete, mostly among themselves, in the sensitivity sweepstakes. She might as well have simply said: Look here, Roberts, are you or are you not in my league as a world-class reacher-outer to, and a stayer-in-touch with, plain people?

Cue the violin.

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