Miranda Rights v. Barack H. Obama

July 2, 2010

What the hell is Barack Obama thinking?  Not so long ago he was perfidiously quick to file an Amicus brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) while professing a fierce support for LGBT equality. LGBT voters under the bus.

Nothing has changed.  The White House has produced another perplexing Amicus brief in the Supreme Court’s Miranda warnings appeal, Berghuis v. Thompkins. The White House has thrown its support to  limits on criminal suspects remaining silent during police interrogations.  A whole host of protections against self-incrimination and right to counsel have been swept aside in this decision.  Blacks and Hispanics, far over-represented in the populations of the unfairly arrested, convicted, and imprisoned, will bear the brunt of this outcome.  For Obama, this assault on Miranda was simply collateral damage within the larger context of his political ambition.   SC Justice Sotomayor, who has not forgotten her roots, wrote a powerful dissent to the Thompkins decision.  Was Obama too afraid to challenge the pro-cop faction of the Faux News “nation” after last year’s racist onslaught  accompanying the arrest of  Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates?

Right wing activists have long sought to undo Miranda, never accepting it as settled law.  The  conservative Supreme Court has worked assiduously to narrow the rights of criminal suspects and defendants.  “Terror” scares, or so-called Miranda rights for terrorists, has finally given them the justification they needed.  They have chosen a fine time , under the auspices of one of the weakest and most non-ideological administrations in history, to pull off a heist of civil liberties.  Poor Obama doesn’t want to seem “soft” on terror or miss an opportunity to mollify his “enemies”. So, our president is making a change that will satisfy his critics.

presidential adviser David Axelrod told CNN that the (president’s) focus is on expanding the “public safety exception” that allows a delay in administering” Miranda rights.

Why, if “terror” suspects can be legally or extra-legally TORTURED, HELD INDEFINITELY WITHOUT CHARGE or TRIAL, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE  TO THE RAGING RIGHT WING NUTS IF THESE “SUSPECTS” RECEIVE MIRANDA WARNINGS OR NOT?  Isn’t this terror concern just a red herring for curtailing domestic rights?

Most of the TEA Party crowd doesn’t give a hoot about any suspect’s constitutional rights, or any other constitutional protection that doesn’t involve bearing arms.

But Obama, Mr. progressive constitutional lawyer, caved to the neo-cons.  Natch.

Obama’s capitulations, just the most  recent being Miranda rights, will not endear him to the lunatic fringe of the erstwhile Republican party. The more his proto-fascist ideas resemble theirs the more they will refer to him as the vilest “leftist” politician America has yet produced. By the end of President Obama’s “progressive” administration, who knows how far America will have moved toward the Orwellian national security state that neo-cons have so long desired.

Now, that’s change we can believe in.

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