Dear John Roberts
So, who wants to be humiliated today?
Ah, thank you, sir. Please stand up so we can all see you. What’s your name?
I’m sorry … did you say "John Roberts?"
What, was John Doe too busy? I know George W. Bush is seeking someone who will not generate controversy … but methinks he picked you hoping he could just slip a nice boring name right by the Senate with no one the wiser.
Was his only screening question for you, “Hey, buddy—how easy is your name to pronounce?”
Sorry, Judge Roberts, I know I’m not being fair. I should give your new pal the prez some credit. In the wake of recent high court names like Antonin and Thurgood, “John” is a damn good choice. After all, other countries laugh at us enough already—let’s not go back to the days of justices named Rufus Peckham, Mahlon Pitney, and Felix Frankfurter. No, John, I’m not making this up.
So now you are on your way to your confirmation hearings. Congratulations to you, Your Honor. Now the world’s emerging democracies—Iraq, Palestine, California—can sit back and watch how an experienced institution like the US Senate handles its constitutional mandate and honors a qualified candidate and universally acknowledged nice guy.
Or not. I’m guessing it will be about as dignified as Pam Anderson’s home videos.
You should know, John, that I am neither an ideologue nor a student of the jurisprudential arts. But I have read much today about your background and beliefs, and here’s what I’ve discovered.
You are a normal guy.
That’s going to be a shock to most people. Especially after what we will be hearing for the next two months.
Voices on the right will start by saying that you are the perfect judge. And, if pressured, they will assert that you are actually Christ reborn—and insist that a vote against you is an affront to God. (Not everyone’s God, just the one that speaks American English.)
Voices on the left will begin with your plans to remove all of our rights. And, if pushed, they will point out that you kick helpless animals—and contend that a vote for you is support for a beast that eats babies. (Not the unborn ones—you want to force all women to have those BEFORE you eat them.)
The truth? I doubt you feast on newborns. Anymore. And I really doubt you are Jesus—despite the disturbing fact that you ARE a white male with European features … which we all know to be the bodily form that the Son of God prefers.
From my initial investigation, I declare you to be thoroughly all right. For starters, I have learned that you grew up in Indiana—which hasn’t unleashed anything dangerous on our nation since John Cougar’s “American Fool” album.
You are conservative, yes, but not radical. Your democratic friends even call you reasonable and balanced—and fun.
You are principled, yes, but practical. You even argued a case before the Supreme Court on BEHALF of environmentalists—and won.
You have lived in Washington for years now and have managed to avoid the Post’s gossip columns. And the police, which is more than we can say for mayors here.
So if some senators give you hell, John, it will say much more about them than about you.
Realistically, though, can the special interests on both sides control their media machines from declaring this vote the most important national decision since the Dancing with the Stars finale? Can committee staffers hold back on dredging up your foibles at Harvard? Will Chuck Shumer finally resist an opportunity to grandstand?
Call me a pessimist, call me a cynic, call me a realist—any way you slice it, my answer to all these questions is “no.” This will be a circus, Judge Roberts. Prepare for the clowns.
Yes, John, clowns scare the crap out of me, too.