I repeat what seems pretty obvious to me: the president's remarkable attack on the Supreme Court yesterday was not, it seems to me, an attempt to persuade. It felt like the first speech of a presidential campaign when Obama will rail against the vested interests that have tried to destroy his presidency: the intransigent Republicans and a radical right court. I suspect he knows the mandate went down last week, and is framing things for the election.
Secondly, is it not passing strange that the same court that seems intent on striking down the individual mandate to ensure universal coverage has just removed what shred is left of the Fourth Amendment? I mean: we get irritated by airport scans, but there is no outcry that any cop who arrests any citizen on any charge can strip that individual entirely before jailing him or her.
Yes, our own government has the right to do to any of its citizens what was done to the victims at Abu Ghraib as a first step to help break down their self-respect. And it can do so for any arrest whatsoever, on even the most trifling of questions. Put yourself in that position for a moment. Not just a mug-shot but a full strip down in front of total strangers in uniform. Most human rights groups view this as problematic for developing countries' legal systems' compliance with human rights.
And yet I hear no outcry from the Tea Party. A mandate devised by conservatives to prevent healthcare free-loading is an outrage to everything America stands for. The police's right to strip search any of us, even if there is no evidence of any contraband? Move along now. Nothing to worry about here.