Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Do Your Homework

From the Washington Post:

Thrown on the defensive by recent revelations about Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.’s legal work, White House aides are delaying the release of tens of thousands of documents from the Reagan administration to give themselves time to find any new surprises before they are turned into political ammunition by Democrats.

Before Roberts’s July 19 selection by President Bush, there was no comprehensive effort to examine the voluminous paper trail from his previous tours as an important legal and political hand under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, administration officials said.

Three weeks later, these officials say they recognize that Roberts’s record is going to be central to Senate confirmation hearings scheduled to begin Sept. 6, and lawyers and political aides are urgently reviewing more than 50,000 pages — at the same time denying requests from Democrats for an immediate release.

It’s not like the White House didn’t expect this; his name’s been batted around since last winter when it was revealed Rehnquist was sick, and the White House staff had face-to-face interviews with him back in the spring. And it’s not like they didn’t expect him to be grilled about his previous work. But this kind of sloppy prep work is part of the arrogant charm they have; they figured they’d put out this nice bland white guy with and expect him to sail through with a few little bumps from the right — he wrote briefs defending queers! Horrors! — and the left — he did the same for Operation Rescue! — and that everyone would just, y’know, chill out, waiting for the next pretty white woman to disappear. Yeah, well, this is the same kind of prep work they gave to their exit strategy in Iraq.