Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Donald Trump got two big endorsements today. One was from Jerry Falwell Jr., who heads Liberty University, the school founded by his father. The other was from this guy:
Arizona's tough-talking "Sheriff Joe" Arpaio endorsed Donald Trump for president on Tuesday, lending his support as an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration to the GOP front-runner six days before Iowa's caucuses....

Arpaio -- who rose to conservative fame with his aggressive roundups of undocumented immigrants and attention-grabbing tactics like clothing inmates in pink underwear -- signaled his support when he introduced Trump at a Mesa, Arizona, rally late last year.
A lot of people have looked at the rise of Donald Trump and concluded that something new and terrible has happened to the Republican Party -- all of a sudden, a respectable party has been hijacked by conspiracy-mongering nativist know-nothings in thrall to a neo-fascist. How could this possibly have happened to the Grand Old Party in such a short amount of time?

The answer, of course, is that Trumpism didn't come out of nowhere. It's been around for a long time -- and it's been tolerated for a long time within the Republican Party. Actually, tolerated isn't the right word -- in the GOP, a neo-fascist like Joe Arpaio can become a power broker who's regularly courted by "respectable" Republicans.

The Trump endorsement is hardly Arpaio's first. Arpaio endorsed Arizona's current governor, Doug Ducey. He's endorsed members of Congress even in other states -- Pete Sessions in Texas, Raul Labrador in Idaho. His endorsees don't always win -- he picked Mitt Romney in the 2008 presidential race and Rick Perry four years later -- but no Republican, as far as I can tell, ever turns down an Arpaio endorsement. In fact, Republicans kiss his ring in the hopes of getting a nod from him -- not just Michele Bachmann in the 2012 race, but John McCain twelve years earlier.

Republicans treat him as a power broker despite the fact that he's a thug:
Since Arpaio first took office in 1993, cases involving him or his office have cost taxpayers $142 million in legal expenses, settlements and court awards....

There were enormous court awards for deaths in the jails, some of which were so large they were paid by insurance companies, instead of the county.

His deputies arrested journalists for writing about him, and taxpayers paid for it.

He arrested and a former county attorney filed charges against sitting judges, supervisors and county employees in 2008 and 2009. All of the cases fell apart. All of the targets sued and settled.
And a racist:
United States District Court Judge G. Murray Snow, an appointee of George W. Bush, has done Arizona and the nation a great service by chronicling, in meticulous detail, the unconstitutional harassment and racial profiling Hispanic people have been suffering at the hands of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. On Friday afternoon, on the eve of a holiday weekend, Judge Snow released a 142-page ruling which concludes that Sheriff Arpaio's well-publicized roundup policies violate both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

... Not only did Arpaio routinely violate federal law and the constitutional rights of Latinos in his County-- including the rights of undocumented immigrants-- he also blatantly violated the terms of a prior court order on the topic.
Did I say he's a thug?
Thousands of lawsuits and legal claims alleging abuse have been filed against Arpaio’s department by inmates -- or, in the case of deaths in detention, by their families. A federal investigation found that deputies had used stun guns on prisoners already strapped into a “restraint chair.” The family of one man who died after being forced into the restraint chair was awarded more than six million dollars as the result of a suit filed in federal court. The family of another man killed in the restraint chair got $8.25 million in a pre-trial settlement. (This deal was reached after the discovery of a surveillance video that showed fourteen guards beating, shocking, and suffocating the prisoner, and after the sheriff’s office was accused of discarding evidence, including the crushed larynx of the deceased.)
And when he and his subordinates aren't violating the civil rights of non-whites, abusing prisoners, or arresting journalists, they're investigating claims that President Obama wasn't born in America -- y'know, just like Trump.

Trump isn't new. Joe Arpaio has been talking like Trump for years, but he's also acted on the beliefs that Trump, so far, has only talked about.

If you have a party in which Joe Arpaio has been a star and power broker for years, and you've done nothing to challenge him, then you have no reason to be surprised when Donald Trump is your all-but-official presidential nominee. It's that simple.


Victor said...

And it looks like ex-Atlanta Brave lefty relief pitcher, that asshole whose bigotry lasted a much longer time than his fastball, John "Off His" Rocker, finally found something about NY City he likes:
Donald Trump.

The state of Arizona must be off its rocker to keep an openly racist Sheriff who's cost the state over $140 million in fines, penalties, and law suits in office, and not found some way for him to lose an election along the way.

And please don't tell me that corrupting the election process would be in any way shocking for a state like Arizona.
Hell, if the states GOP didn't like him and his bigotry, they'd have found a way to oust him.
So, there's still more evidence that they approve of him and his hateful bigotry!

Gerald Parks said...

Hu8mpt ...there CONTINUED support of him IS acceptance of him, his policies AND practices!

It is NOT the 1st time in American history ... what do you think Jim Crow Laws were about? How do you think they were enforced? 100+ years of terrorizing African-AMERICAN citizens in plain sight.
The current GOP front runner AND the entire field of also rans if given the opportunity would usher in a very similar era in 21st Century America! It doesn't matter the person ..it is the Party that determines the policies and practices.
Look at the GOP/Republican examples of governance in 21st Century America ..they are NOT hiding!
2001 W Bush "steals" the election, squanders a huge surplus,allows largest attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor, stars a war, then invades another country (Iraq) based on a LIE, destabilizing the Middle East, has piss poor response to Hurricane Katrina endangering the lives of 10's of thousands of American citizens, poor handling of the economy forcing at one point 800,000 job losses a month, then on the way out ...nearly crashes the US economy!
Present day GOP/Republican governance ... voter suppression, roll back Roe v Wade, Union busting, poisoning of a US city of 100,000 American citizens for the past 2 years that is after removing the city's ELECTED Officials ... need I go on???

They are NOT hiding .... Ryan's budget, sequestration,shutting down the Federal government, austerity, filibusters, worst TWO Congresses in US history .... THEY ARE NOT HIDING!

Feud Turgidson said...

I WILL tell you that -- or, more precisely prosaicly, that the Ratbastard party, having first catered, kow-towed & curried to their crazy white supremacist criminal thuggees (for "security", or guaranteed whatever, 'insurance' of this or that, such as against being short or pols houses being fire-bombed) now can't get rid of them.

And since the Ratbastards are somehow essential to our freaking system - thanks, Jefferson! - and since it was the Ratbastards who first comp'd the thuggees past the bouncers and then invited thme in as guests and finally arranged for lifetime friggin' passes for them to join the ongoing party of seeing how many worser angels can bedevil this republic until it finally gets away from us completely & topples & then gets tipped into the trash like the Jenga tower in The Big Short, THEREFORE it is not longer entirely or even mostly the Ratbastard party's problem, and certainly not the Ratbastard party's problem to SOLVE, but somehow collectively "ours".

It's time for everyone to sit down their children, grandchidren, relations, friends and assorted loved and valued ones, for us to all read deeply in Rick Perlstein in hopes an oracle will emerge with some goddam answer to this nightmare.

Tinhorn sheriffs & Reagan's doings
Second amendment Inferno
This time around Trump's got power and
Four dead by Arpaio

[And counting]
Four dead by Arpaio
Four deadd by Arpaio

One dead in Oregon. All that Bizarro World Merkin Patriot sang mal in Malheur, and turns out the someone isn't even a Bundy.

Unknown said...

The prisoner deaths that have occurred in Arpaio's jail have not resulted in criminal prosecutions of the officers involved, and of Arpaio himself? I don't understand why the Obama Justice Department hasn't gone after this son of a bitch hammer and tongs for criminal violations of these prisoners civil rights based on race. That has been a remedy used in the past when state police have murdered Blacks.

I would also have thought that after the decision by the federal judge that Arpaio would have been removed from office by the state government. I guess no outrage by a public official in Republican-controlled Arizona is sufficient to remove someone like Arpaio, provided he's a vicious enough thug. The State sure looks like the South during the Jim Crow era.

M. Bouffant said...

Sure he endorses candidates in other states; he is, after all, "America's Toughest Sheriff", or at least calls himself that.

Lawrence said...

Is Arapaio a big deal still? I live in Phoenix and I'm inclined to say no. He spends most of his time playing legal defense over his professional misconduct. He's really old, and will have to retire soon, or lose his next election. Does this bring anybody onboard who hadn't already bought a ticket? An endorsement from Governor Douchey would be a bigger plum.

Professor Chaos said...

Hell, the GOP has gotten to the point where they're losing Ted Nugent's ring. They've gone completely off the rails in the last decade or two.

Professor Chaos said...

Sorry, that should say "kissing Ted Nugent's ring," not "losing." Thanks, autocorrect!

Steve M. said...

Is Arapaio a big deal still?

I think it impresses wingnuts outside Arizona, maybe more so than inside.