UMPIRES, JUDGES & THE LEFT: John Roberts used a simple yet strong metaphor in his opening remarks. Comparing a judge's role to that of an umpire, Roberts said: "I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat." That reminded me of the story about the three umpires who got together after a day at the park. One umpire declares, "There's balls and there's strikes and I call 'em the way they are." Another responds, "There's balls and there's strikes and I call 'em the way I see 'em." The third says, "There's balls and there's strikes, and they ain't nothin' until I call 'em." The third empire speaks for all judges who see themselves as legislators, the Founders as well-meaning but provincial guys from a lost age, and the public at large as beyond contempt. If Bush accomplishes nothing other than getting two or maybe three justices of Roberts's caliber onto the high court, he can be forgiven even for going along with the domestic spending spree, including the highway bill.