Thursday, July 21, 2005

# Posted 12:55 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

JOHN ROBERTS, THE ANTI-BUSH? I don't know heads or tails about constiutional law, so I'll have to focus on the politics of John Roberts' nomination. And what I know so far is that 'liberal' journalists are falling all over themselves to see who can praise Roberts more.

Why? Because Roberts is the opposite of everything they hate about Bush. Consider this mash note from the NYT:
[Roberts] was always conservative, but not doctrinaire. He was raised and remains a practicing Roman Catholic who declines, friends say, to wear his faith on his sleeve...

John G. Roberts is an erudite, Harvard-trained, Republican corporate-lawyer-turned-judge, with a punctilious, pragmatic view of the law.
Mind you, that's a straight news article I'm quoting, not an editorial or even a "news analysis" column. Liberal activists must be fuming -- positive coverage from the NYT, WaPo, etc. is turning Roberts' confirmation into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Technically, the editorial boards at the Times and the Post are insisting that we must all reserve judgment until the Senate has conducted a thorough and substantive examination of Roberts' merit as a judge. But who're they kidding?

When the WaPo is running headlines such as "Democrats Say Nominee Will Be Hard to Defeat" , there is simply no way to portray Roberts as the sort of "extreme ideologue with an agenda of stripping away important rights" that the NYT says is unacceptable on the nation's highest court.

Now why has the media decided to give John Roberts the kid glove treatment? It's not because he went to Harvard College and Harvard Law. After all, Bush has degrees from Harvard and Yale. What matters a lot more is that Roberts graduated summa cum laude and was the managing editor of law review. He's not just an Ivy Leaguer -- he's the kind of Ivy Leaguer that journalists and pundits wish their children could be.

In other words, Roberts is supposedly the kind of Ivy Leaguer who thinks in a way that fellow Ivy Leaguers readily understand and heartily praise -- whereas Bush doesn't. Consider how the NYT's Elisabeth Bumiller describes Bush's decision to nominate Roberts rather than Harvie Wilkinson:
"Well, I told him I ran three and a half miles a day," Judge Wilkinson recalled in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "And I said my doctor recommends a lot of cross-training, but I said I didn't want to do the elliptical and the bike and the treadmill." The president, Judge Wilkinson said, "took umbrage at that," and told his potential nominee that he should do the cross-training his doctor suggested.

"He thought I was well on my way to busting my knees," said Judge Wilkinson, 60. "He warned me of impending doom."

Judge Wilkinson's conversation with the president about exercise and other personal matters in an interview for a job on the highest court in the land was typical of how Mr. Bush went about picking his eventual nominee, Judge John G. Roberts, White House officials and Republicans said. Mr. Bush, they said, looked extensively into the backgrounds of the five finalists he interviewed, but in the end relied as much on chemistry and intuition as on policy and legal intellect.
I would say that the often-condescending Ms. Bumiller has thoroughly misunderestimated the president. While I'm sure that Bush asked Wilkinson about his exercise habits, we have every reason to believe that Bush carefully chose himself a candidate with both strong conservative beliefs and an incomparable ability to persuade Democratic senators to support his nomination.

In fact, it is precisely because Bumiller and others perpetuate such hackneyed stereotypes about Bush's intellect that John "summa cum laude and law review" Roberts has established himself so rapidly as an unborkable candidate.
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment