I’m Not Doing a Happy Dance Over Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio. Here’s Why [VIDEO]

I’m Not Doing a Happy Dance Over Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio. Here’s Why [VIDEO]

I’m Not Doing a Happy Dance Over Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio. Here’s Why [VIDEO]

There was a time when I admired Sheriff Joe Arpaio. After all, I listened faithfully to Rush Limbaugh, who painted a colorful picture of the tough sheriff. He donned his prisoners in pink undies and fed them bologna sandwiches. Moreover, he was the law-and-order guy who guarded the Arizona border from illegal immigrants.

I saw him speak back in 2010, during the height of the Tea Party movement. Arpaio came to the Kansas City area to endorse Kris Kobach on his successful campaign for Kansas Secretary of State. It was quite the event. Greeting us as we arrived at the large event hall were protestors, holding signs opposing the sheriff’s presence. On top of that, midway through the event, a site rep came on stage and announced a bomb threat. Everyone quickly evacuated. Since our car was roped off, we couldn’t leave the parking lot, so we walked across the street with friends for beer and burgers.

Kobach and Arpaio.

I found Arpaio to be as fascinating as Limbaugh said he was. Here was a sheriff who actually enforced the law, just as our future secretary of state would do. He’s the ultimate Conservative Lawman, right?

However, excuse me if I don’t do my Happy Dance after Trump pardoned him. I now see there’s a really dark side of Arpaio that his cheerleaders would rather hide from view.

Some lawmakers denounced the pardon, and not just liberals.

Moreover, many libertarian and conservative writers don’t agree with the pardon, either.

For example, conservative blogger Patterico gave this pithy response to the pardon right after it happened:

Arpaio did not go through the usual DoJ process and has shown no remorse for blatantly violating a court order. But, the pardon will stir up Trump’s base. So, there you have it.

Libertarian Reason.com announced that “Trump Pardons America’s Worst Lawman,” starting their commentary with this:

In pardoning Arpaio, Trump has given a free pass to an unrepentant and habitual abuser of power, a man with insufficient regard for the Constitution he swore to uphold or the separation of powers it enshrines. The move should come as no surprise. The two are kindred spirits.

Reason added that in 2013, Arpaio made their list of “45 enemies of freedom.”

Writer and former talk show host Charlie Sykes wrote this in a withering commentary about Arpaio in The Contrarian Conservative:

Good cops loathe Arpaio, regarding him as a clownish fraud who defames the profession. Imagine being a cop who respects the rule of law, who has worked to convince the community that they should trust law enforcement not to engage in racial profiling or brutality. What has Trump just said to that cop? And the people he is sworn to protect?

Finally, there’s Jon Gabriel of the center-right blog Ricochet.com. Writing in an opinion piece for USA Today, Gabriel bluntly says that Arpaio is “no conservative and no hero.” Why does he think so? Gabriel lives in Maricopa County, and saw Arpaio’s handiwork up close. He writes:

Many conservatives outside of Arizona celebrated his headline-grabbing antics, but they don’t know the real story. I’m a conservative Maricopa County resident who has lived under Arpaio throughout his decades-long reign. Arpaio was never a conservative; he just played one on TV.

Gabriel continues with a laundry list of Arpaio’s egregious behavior as sheriff — things like wrongful arrests and charges made against various officials, journalists, and even judges. The courts cleared all of Arpaio’s targets of their charges, but guess who paid the whopping settlements? Right, taxpayers. Up to $200 million, in fact.

On top of that, Arpaio’s staff cooked up a fake assassination attempt on Sheriff Joe. The truth, of course, came out, but as a result the taxpayers had to fork over another $1.1 million to the framed defendant.

That’s a lot of dough. Yet somehow Arpaio found the money to send a deputy to Hawaii to look for Obama’s birth certificate.

Credit: nydailynews.com

Don’t go away — there’s more.

While these kinds of shenanigans were happening, Arpaio’s office didn’t bother to investigate over 400 alleged sex crimes. Moreover, many of these involved child molestation. But, hey, priorities, right?

Additionally, one of the most egregious occurrences happened in 2004 when Arpaio’s office sent a SWAT team to an upscale Phoenix home. Why? They were looking for illegal weapons. However, they found no guns, so the SWAT team arrested one of the homeowners for traffic violations. But what happened to the house and the homeowners’ puppy is even more horrifying.

The SWAT team shot gas canisters into the house, which erupted into flames. While the house burned to the ground, the owners’ 10-month-old puppy ran outside to safety. Yet the SWAT team drove the poor dog back into the inferno, and then laughed as one of the puppy’s owners cried hysterically.

Finally, the voters of Maricopa County ousted Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the 2016 election. Arpaio lost to his Democrat opponent by a whopping 10 points. However, those same voters elected Donald Trump as president by 3 points. I guess the good people of the county finally had enough of his birtherism, money squandering, attention-whoring, and overall obnoxiousness.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

13 Comments
  • I think you raise some excellent points, but I also think that many conservative and libertarian critics of the Arpaio pardon cited in your post have missed the point about why this resonates with so many conservatives and independents.

    Charlie Sykes, for example, is fairly typical, so I will pick on him. He seems especially clueless on Trump’s rise to power (unless this is part of his audition to be the next David Brooks). The “contrarian conservative” has a lot to say about Trump’s failings (real or imagined), but little or nothing about fascistic Antifa terrorism, the rise of the violent racist BLM movement, a hyper-partisan media that resembles Joseph Goebbels on steroids, an out-of-control special prosecutor with no apparent limits on the scope of his investigation or budget, the ongoing meltdown of Obamacare, and a host of other issues that worry me a lot more that Trump’s pardon of the flamboyant sheriff.

    During last year’s election I read best (and pithiest) explanation of Trump’s popularity: Trump is the empty gin bottle slung by voters through the front window of the Establishment of both political parties. Demonized and dehumanized by both parties as racist xenophobic hicks, frustrated Trump voters latched onto the one candidate the Establishments of both parties hated. Sykes does not understand this and prefers to rain scorn down upon the heads of those whom he considers less enlightened than him. That may win him some more book contracts and fawning interviews on MSNBC, but Trump voters are unlikely to take his advice seriously. Why should they? Sykes’ views are not noticeably different from the standard run-of-the-mill rich white progressive boilerplate many voters now tune out automatically.

    Trump’s actions would be easier to condemn if they were unique. But they are not. We have just had eight years of President Pen-and-Phone who ruled by royal decree rather than the Constitution, treated all opposition as racism, and used the IRS and other government agencies to persecute domestic political opposition. Having Sykes worry about the pardon of Arpaio makes as much sense as being angry because the proles won’t obey the KEEP OFF THE GRASS sign Sykes has chosen to erected in the middle of the jungle.

    • Kim, I should emphasize that this is not a criticism of you or this site. Victory Girls has done an admirable job of address many issues that concern me.

      • Kim Quade says:

        Arpaio’s status as an purported conservative rock star began long before Trump’s ascendancy. That’s my concern — that people aren’t getting the entire picture of him. Especially since I also fell for the image through mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh (whom I haven’t listened to for quite some time.)

        Anyway, thank you. We all appreciate your kind words.

  • parker says:

    Oh please gimme a break. Illegal aliens are, puase for the surprised…. illegal aliens. Sheriff Joe, in spite of personal flaws, understood illegal aliens are illegal aliens with zero rights.. They have no rights period. Deport them immdiately, no court appearance, no right to an attorney.

    A trip on a C130 and a drop without a parashoot at 20,000 ft. Otherwise shoot them at the border. Hardcore yes, but it will decrease illegal crossings by 99%.

    • Kim Quade says:

      Illegal aliens were not discussed in the post; however, Arpaio’s egregious overreach through false arrests, harassment of officials and others, failure to control a SWAT team, and squandering of taxpayer money to pay off settlements and to fund his birther fantasy are all discussed. They go far beyond “personal flaws.” Please reread the article.

      • GWB says:

        He wrote “parashoot”. Words like “egregious” and “squandering” might be beyond him.

        And, yes, even illegal aliens have some rights. My complaint is I don’t want some legalistic construction of those rights to actually obstruct justice being done. That was a lot of the appeal of “Sheriff Joe” – he didn’t let the legalists keep him from treating criminals/illegal aliens like criminals and illegal aliens. Be nice to get someone who isn’t problematic when it comes to other issues, though.

  • Scott says:

    Kim, a bunch of what you posted was new info for me, and changes my opinion of the Sheriff. the one thing i can’t understand at all is the whole birther thing.. While I’m no Obama fan at all, the all fail to realize, it DOESN’T MATTER where he was born!!! His mother was a citizen, so as such, he could have been born on the freaking moon, and he’d still be a citizen! There’s plenty of reasons to go after him, or claim that he was not qualified for the Presidency, but to go with the birther angle just made the claimers look stupid… /rant off

    • GWB says:

      The fact he was raised in Indonesia, and apparently had Indonesian citizenship when he returned to the US IS a problem. But not the birth certificate. Of course, the embargoing of all 0bama’s records was also a problem…….

      • Scott says:

        I agree 100% GWB, but that’s the sad part, the focus on the birth certificate, and birther crap distracted from things that were truly a problem (add the fact that he claimed to be a foreign student when he was in college)

  • michael says:

    Yes, Joe’s a self-aggrandizing, showboating dick, like so many others in his field. So hey, let’s hand him over to the Left? … so they can use his trashed (via his ego) reputation as an example of a “Typical Racist, Xenophobic, Republican”, that they have rid us of as the morally superior beings they know they are? The fact that he came up under Bill Clinton’s “Tough on Crime”, “3-Strikes” administration, when Ds were just as unhinged over crime as Rs, should not be forgotten. Sure, the proud old a-hole should have recognized that the winds had changed – Clintons’ mea culpa – but there you go, hero-to-zero. Throwing him to the Left’s dogs, no matter how much chewing he deserves, only serves the dogs and emboldens them to move down the block for more meat. They’re not interested in Justice or the victims of his Injustice, just themselves and their own interests. Thwarting them, even when poorly done, is not all bad.

    • One does not have to be a fan of Arpaio to support the pardon. The trial was a legal travesty run by a showboat Obama appointee.

      • Marta Hernandez says:

        Except that U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow, who issued the injunction was a Bush appointee.

        Snow was nominated by President George W. Bush on December 11, 2007, to a seat vacated by Stephen M. McNamee. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 26, 2008, and received his commission on July 23, 2008.

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