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Michael Steele’s Total Lack of Empathy

May 18, 2009

On Meet the Press yesterday, Michael Steele pushed back against the idea that a Supreme Court justice should have empathy in their rulings.  I understand (and vehemently disagree with) the argument that a judge should decide based solely on facts and take nothing else into account.  Rulings can’t be made solely on emotion, but the real world impact can’t be completely disregarded.  As Tim Kaine said, I’d rather be part of a party that believes empathy needs to be part of our system of government.

All of that said, Steele went way beyond a lack of empathy on Saturday when argued that same sex marriages shouldn’t be legalized because it would cost small business.

Republicans can reach a broader base by recasting gay marriage as an issue that could dent pocketbooks as small businesses spend more on health care and other benefits, GOP Chairman Michael Steele said Saturday.

Steele said that was just an example of how the party can retool its message to appeal to young voters and minorities without sacrificing core conservative principles. Steele said he used the argument weeks ago while chatting on a flight with a college student who described herself as fiscally conservative but socially liberal on issues like gay marriage.

Steele, who is proven time and again that he is beyond out of touch, clearly has no sense of what it means to be “socially liberal.”  This is about equality and fundamental fairness.  People who support gay marriage don’t suddenly sacrifice their sense of fairness and equality because it has implications.  People who support equality believe that the relationships between two people of the same sex should be valued as much as heterosexual couples.

Finally, if he’d get on the band wagon for health care reform, rather than trying to be an obstructionist, perhaps health care coverage would be more affordable and those small businesses could handle the cost of covering gay couples.  Looks like signing on to the full Democratic agenda could solve all of Steele’s problems.

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