The Bush administration's fight against a court order to preserve White House e-mail is short-sighted and wrongheaded.
If history is to be the judge, as the former president contends, then safeguarding the historical record is a must.
In one of the Bush administration's final acts, lawyers filed court papers Friday claiming the federal court overstepped its authority in ordering White House employees to surrender several years of e-mail.
The court, Bush lawyers argue, has no jurisdiction over e-mail produced by the offices of the president, former Vice President Dick Cheney or the National Security Council.
It's not clear how the legal arguments will shake out, but it's certain that history was made on White House laptops and servers.
National security and privacy concerns may justify keeping presidential documents sealed for years or decades.
But failing to preserve the record robs posterity of a chance to fully learn history's lessons.
Bush needs to take the long view and remember that ultimately the White House is the people's house.