Sunday, July 24, 2005

I fear the niceness of this man

I've seen nina Totenberg talk about John Roberts twice on television. On TV she's more of a pundit and somewhat less objective than she is on NPR. The first time she was on Nightline with Ted Koppel, all decked out in a white pearl jacket, probably beamed in from some black tie event. And then she was on Meet the Press with Tim Russert this morning. Both times she described Judge Roberts as nice. He will sail through his confirmation hearings, because he is so nice. And he is all-American too, having served as the captain of his highschool football team. I'm sure that President Bush loved that. He may be an egghead, but he's a jock too. That makes it all right.

No one is ever described as kind or generous or, heaven forbid, good. It is always nice, and I hate this quality. Rarely does it seem to be something positive. More often it's an absence of something bad, and in John Roberts' case I fear it. The man is smart. He kept his head down. He's never betrayed his passions, and I am sure that he is charming. He will smooth his way through. The two Joes (Biden and Lieberman) will love him. All this niceness will mean that all the establsihment Democrats will get behind him. Now maybe Roberts is the best we can hope for from a bad situation, but I fear that his being nice will make it easy for the Senators in Washington to make nice, and whenever that happens, it seems that the rest of us get screwed.

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