If you didn’t know that the head of the Catholic League was an old softie at heart, then his email exchange with Steve Waldman will change your mind. Responding to a question from Steve, Bill wrote:

“I like the fact that she is not brandishing her religion. I do not want Catholic judges to rule as Catholics but as judges. I am all for Catholic legislators having a Catholic-informed opinion, but a judge has a different charge. Unless something pops that we don’t know about, I am not going to oppose her. Indeed, the experiences I had working with the Puerto Rican community lead me to quietly root for her.”

That’s not so surprising, really, as Donohue noted in his first reaction release that he spent four years in the 1970s teaching in a Catholic elementary school in Spanish Harlem. “I loved working with the Puerto Rican people. Indeed, I feel some of the pride that Puerto Ricans rightly feel today. Good for them–this is their special day.”

Good for Bill. But it does smack of that notorious quality, “empathy,” which is shaping up as a battleground buzzword. Ironically.

Sotomayor’s “temperment” is also attracting the attention of conservative strategists. Did they worry about Antonin Scalia’s temper? Or is it something about a woman, and a Latina at that, speaking up? Bill D could empathize on the temperment question too, methinks.

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