Carol Platt Liebau: So Tart It's Sweet

Saturday, August 20, 2005

So Tart It's Sweet

It's official -- I am now a huge John Roberts fan, not just intellectually, but personally . . . at least if his views haven't changed from those that Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank sets out in his column.

Here's Roberts' tart comments, circa 1984, having read remarks Reagan was to deliver upon bestowing an award on Michael Jackson that said 100 women who work at the White House "all said their name is Billie Jean." Roberts wrote:

"Cognoscenti will recognize the allusion to a character in one of Mr. Jackson's popular ballads, a young lass who claims -- falsely, according to the oft-repeated refrain of the singer -- that the singer is the father of her illegitimate child. This may be someone's idea of presidential humor, but it certainly is not mine."

Oh yes. And generally on the idea of bestowing an award on Michael Jackson, Roberts had this to say:

"The whole episode would, in my view, be demeaning to the President."

Quite so. How refreshing -- how heartening -- that the idea of propriety isn't a dead letter (at least as of 20 years ago in John Roberts' world).

The hipsters no doubt will try to denigrate what sounds like an old fashioned sense of what is becoming a president. But in an era marked by often crass appeals to the lowest common denominator (in movies and in so much else), Roberts' voice sounds like a cry for dignity and a sense of what is fitting in a world where both are, sadly, too often in short supply.

John Roberts' tart comments are more than sweet . . . they are the mark of a real and good and honorable man.


Blogger Mr. Twister said...

I'm sure there are plenty of additonal bon mots in all of the documents that Judge Roberts wrote during his time in the Solicitor General's office. Given that the courts have held that the Solicitor General and pals work for the American people, I would like to have a look at those documents.

I'm sure the President looked at these documents prior to making his nomination. Now it is time for the American people and the Senate to have access to the same documents so we can see for ourselves what a wonderful, humorous, tart man he is.

Why won't the Bush Administration release the Roberts' documents? Whta are they hiding?

3:34 PM  

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