It turns out that the Roberts nomination is so blameless, activists can't get anyone excited over it.
WASHINGTON — What happens when an army prepares for World War III — and ends up in a border skirmish?Even presidential bete noire Robert Byrd likes him.
That question looms for liberal groups that have been collecting millions of dollars and preparing for years for a scorched-earth battle over President Bush's first Supreme Court nominee.
Even some liberal groups — including People for the American Way and Alliance for Justice — have not announced opposition to Roberts, saying that they want to review his record more thoroughly.
Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way, said his immediate goal was to keep senators from making an early commitment to Roberts. Neas' message: "Wait till all the facts are in."
Thank God the fearless, but illiterate, Robin Givhan has found a crack in the Roberts facade: The way the Roberts, pere et mere, dress their children.
The wife wore a strawberry-pink tweed suit with taupe pumps and pearls, which alone would not have been particularly remarkable, but alongside the nostalgic costuming of the children, the overall effect was of self-consciously crafted perfection. The children, of course, are innocents. They are dressed by their parents. And through their clothes choices, the parents have created the kind of honeyed faultlessness that jams mailboxes every December when personalized Christmas cards arrive bringing greetings "to you and yours" from the Blake family or the Joneses. Everyone looks freshly scrubbed and adorable, just like they have stepped from a Currier & Ives landscape.
But the Roberts family went too far. In announcing John Roberts as his Supreme Court nominee, the president inextricably linked the individual -- and his family -- to the sweep of tradition. In their attire, there was nothing too informal; there was nothing immodest. There was only the feeling that, in the desire to be appropriate and respectful of history, the children had been costumed in it.