'[h]e wants “empathy” to guide the justice in reaching outcomes which favor the down-and-out, minorities, women, employees, and criminal defendants.Not quite.
As a long-time leftist, I am the kind of person who would like to see court decisions that outright favor the down-and-out, minorities, employees, and criminal defendants.
That's the change I hope for.
Of course, conservatives like Rubin reserve all of their "empathy" for elites, white racists, big business, employers, and the police. In fact, that's a pretty good definition of conservatism right there. Right-wingers would like to see a balance in which the people on top get 95-100% and the people on the bottom get somewhere between absolute zero and 5%.
What does President Obama want? I would say that Obama's version of "hope" and "change" is something like a 70-30 balance favoring all of the people on top. That gives people on the bottom a better deal than they have now.
But not all that much.
That way, Obama can "change" things while still being "pragmatic" enough to not drive the white middle-class back into the arms of the conservative movement.
It's not exactly "change I can believe in," but it is "change I can live with."