What Do They Know That We Don’t?

Considering that so many of John Roberts’s positions remain unknown (or at least unclear), the Conservative support behind him seems remarkably consistent. Without going into details, Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol “unreservedly” praises the Roberts pick:

He’ll be a little more incremental, a little more cautious, than some of us rabid constitutionalists will sometimes like. But he is a conservative pick, and a quality pick–and, to my surprise, a non-PC, non-quota pick.

Larry Kudlow of the National Review followed suit, lauding Roberts’s record on economic issues:

Let it also be said that President Bush was true to his word. He nominated a conservative based solely on the judicial merits, a church-going Catholic father of two children who is a truly distinguished lawyer and jurist.

Manuel Miranda, writing for the Wall Street Journal, goes beyond Kudlow and Crystal, praising Roberts as a judge in the mold of Scalia or Thomas.

Last night George Bush kept his campaign promise that he would name a justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas In John Roberts, the president got what he wanted, and we conservatives did too.

These might be honest sentiments. But there is surprisingly little worrying among the Right about abortion, and whether or not Roberts will prove his Conservative credentials on the big social issues. Do Conservatives know something we don’t? Or could it be that, after a day of rumors swirling around Edith Jones Clement, John Roberts simply looked so good in contrast that Conservatives could not help but fall in love?

Well, Roberts is not without a detractor. The loudest (and loneliest) dissenting voice was that of Ann Coulter:

So all we know about him for sure is that he can’t dance and he probably doesn’t know who Jay-Z is. Other than that, he is a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Big zippo. Nada. Oh, yeah … We also know he’s argued cases before the Supreme Court. Big deal; so has Larry Flynt’s attorney.

But unfortunately, other than that that, we don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.

But does Coulter have a point, or does she just need someone to hate?
(Or both?)

– Conor Clarke