Most things considered, 2005 was a bad year for the Bush/Cheney administration, which seemed so intent to distance itself from any perception of academic elitism that it found itself mired in good old fashioned social elitism. Recently, news agencies have reported a security leak disclosing a domestic spying program that bypasses the courts, an executive decision quickly criticized by liberals, moderates, and conservatives, including Colin Powell. Then there was the plan to rid Louisiana of its Democrats, which backfired, as a sizeable number of Republicans were also affected. The media has slowly discovered that Donald Rumsfeld is determined to pare down the nation's once fine military into an army of one. Some U.S. prosecutors almost caught Karl Rove in his web of lies, but he shapeshifted into a pool of black ooze and slid away into the Washington sewer system. And even the Christian Right is starting to realize that they've hitched their wagon to a Vice President who is, more likely than not, Satan.
So it's easy to forget that President Bush did make one slam-dunk decision in 2005: nominating John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Here at Brevity I mentioned the selection (briefly, of course), but never discussed his elevation to Chief Justice nominee and the Senate confirmation process.
I have two observations to make: one today and one tomorrow. I'd like to devote a moment to what the TV networks chose not to show during the Roberts announcement. The following picture was shamelessly pilfered from this site. (More to see here.)
Wow. The first question is obvious: why didn't the networks show us this? I mean, sure, Fox News wasn't going to do it -- they suck on the crude oil from the Bush/Cheney administration's teat -- but how is it that all other news agencies resisted the urge to, I don't know, take this golden opportunity to make the event more interesting? Despite the pastel getups, maybe the Roberts family is not as white-bread as we imagined. That kid is cool. Memo to news producers: you are all idiots.
Second, who is more mortified: this kid's mother, or his sister? You could argue it's the mother, who might feel slightly responsible for allowing some unintended levity to obscure her husband's proudest professional moment. But I suspect it's the sister, who must be wondering if she has to follow that act.