Miracle worker.

Miracle worker.

Miracle worker.

Notes from the political sidelines.
Sept. 4 2005 4:05 PM

Miracle Worker

Bush longs for James Lee Witt, the Clinton man he should have kept.

(Continued from Page 4)

George Will, Meet George Won't: But looking back, it's hard not to marvel at Incaviglia's achievement.The Has-Been does not mean to take anything away from what Bush has donewhiffing at and bobbling a little white ball is nothing compared with whiffing at evil and bobbling a whole country. But in his field, Pete Incaviglia embodied Bush's same impressive ability to fail on offense and defense at the same time.

And like Bush, he probably did it without steroids. In the words of this bookies' blog, "Pete Incaviglia was just fat." ... 6:36 A.M. (link)



Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005

Sound Off: Once again, George Bush's good pal Rafael Palmeiro has come up with the answer to the president's problems. The same man who was the top TV pitchman for Viagra and the star witness for covering up steroids in baseball has just come out with a new product: earplugs.

If Bush had learned about Raffy's idea for earplugs just one day sooner, the president could have stayed on the ranch, listened to the protesters without hearing a word, and finished the full month of his vacation. Of course, unlike Palmeiro's last two ventures, it's too early to certify this product as "performance-enhancing." ... 3:44 P.M. (link)


Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005

Changing Speeds: While most Americans savor their last days of summer, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats are gearing up to ask John Roberts tough questions about his judicial philosophy at his confirmation hearing next week. "We need to be sure this institution is in the mainstream of American thinking," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told David Von Drehle of the Washington Post this weekend. "What we need to do is ask the obvious questions."

Let's hope that as an old country lawyer, Durbin has a few unobvious questions up his sleeve. After reading the transcript of Roberts' 2003 hearings, The Has-Been urges members to leave their fastballs at home and throw changeups and curveballs instead.

The purpose of any good job interview is to find out how a person's mind works under pressure. A good confirmation hearing is no different: The committee owes the country a chance to see John Roberts' mind at work. If he's as good as his profiles, he'll pass with flying colors. If he stumbles, the country will take another look.

But as Roberts demonstrated last time, pressing him to outline his judicial philosophy doesn't feel like pressure at all. The man has been preparing to duck those questions his entire adult life. His first job was to advise Sandra Day O'Connor on how to do the same. After a quarter century of preparation, John Roberts is not suddenly going to take the stand and confess, Perry Mason style, that he's a Scalia conservative, not a Rehnquist clone, or that Roberts is really  Latin for Souter.