According to the progressive media, President Trump’s pardoning of the controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio constitutes political cronyism and a continued acceptance of, or acquiescence to, racism, white supremacy and the Alt-Right.
They might have been more persuasive had they stopped at political cronyism.
Yes, Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio is CLEARLY politically motivated. The obvious points include:
- Trump sticks up for his friends. Joe Arpaio was a staunch Trump supporter during the campaign
- Trump sends a message to leftist judges that he will continue to fight them, using every executive power and partisan trick he learned from Obama
- Trump wants to reverse Obama’s arrogant overreach in attacking Arizona for upholding federal immigration law
- Trump wants to keep immigration front of mind. Immigration got him elected and it remains a top primary for Americans
It’s clear why Trump pardoned Arpaio. But to conflate it white supremacy and the Alt-Right?
The Case Against Joe Arpaio
Because of congress’ failure to secure our borders after the Simpson–Mazzoli Act, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1986, Arizona’s prison population outgrew the budget. The result: the state faced the decision of either breaking the budget to build expensive prisons, releasing convicts early to make room, or reducing enforcement of its laws.
None of these choices sat well with Sheriff Arpaio, who presented an alternate solution:
- reduce the costs of incarceration through military-style tents
- reduce recidivism through military-style discipline and embarrassing pink underwear
Tent City made great copy through the 1990s, but became a cause célèbre in the early 2000s, as inmates and former inmates reported many abuses, including rapes, harsh treatment, and increased suicides.
Then allegations grew of uninvestigated child molestation cases. Allegations grew of Arpaio running private investigations, intimidating and arresting journalists and the families of his detractors.
Make no mistake: the allegations above are grotesque, and no citizen should condone such practices – if proven true. The courts have already paid millions of taxpayer funds to settle some of these cases – in some cases, against Arpaio’s wishes.
It remains to be seen whether these abuses are the fault of limited resources, bad actors, Arpaio, or a dysfunctional court. Arpaio lost his last election, and we hope that Democrat Paul Penzone is able restore the reputation of Maricopa County’s Sheriff’s department.
The Actual Case Against Joe Arpaio
In other words, the media is not talking about Arpaio’s actual conviction in US District Judge Susan Bolton’s court.
In December 2011, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow issued a preliminary injunction ordering Arpaio and his deputies to stop the racial profiling of Latino drivers.
However, Arpaio claimed the injunction was vague. While he sought clarification, and claimed to that he would review his deputies’ procedures, on July 31, 2017 Judge Bolton issued:
Arpaio’s claims he is innocent since his defiance was unintentional.
Some maintain that this is a Democrat witch hunt as Judge Bolton convicted him in absentia, and without a jury trial.
It’s NOT About the Law
While comparing this to “getting Al Capone on tax evasion,” many are willing to accept Arpaio’s potential six months in prison as payment for his other abuses.
Even Trump hater, GOP Senator McCain, tried to put the narrative back onto the subject of law:
“No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold… The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”
In other words, who cares that Arpaio can’t show remorse because he believes he’s innocent? Who cares that he didn’t get a jury trial, which might have found him NOT guilty? Who cares about the law? We’re punishing a bad sheriff here!
May I also remind the AZ Senator that in July 2010, he and Senator Jon Kyl submitted:
“The American people must wonder whether the Obama administration is really committed to securing the border when it sues a state that is simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law.”
In other words, Senator, why are you persecuting – and allowing liberal judges to convict – a sheriff who spent the last several years trying to enforce local, state, and federal law to protect its people against a Democrat administration bent on violating those laws?
Answer: it’s not about the law.
Why the Media is Wrong On Arpaio’s Pardon
This has NOTHING to do with Charlottesville, and that small, sorry bunch of KKK and white supremacists. Trump is not “assuaging his base” after Bannon and Gorka left the White House.
These charges are meant to conflate everything GOP with racism because the Left and it’s progressive media mouthpiece wants open borders.
I find it ironic that on CNN’s Sunday “State of the Union,” contributor Ana Navarro said:
“You know what differentiates us from places like Maduro’s Venezuela or Castro’s Cuba or Duterte’s Philippines? Here government officials are held accountable when they behave like thugs. The message [Trump]’s sending with this pardon to other government officials, to other law enforcement officials is a very bad message.”
No, what differentiates us from those socialists and authoritarians is that we actually believe in the rule of law, no matter who is in office.
Where was CNN when Obama pardoned actual criminals, traitors, and terrorists? Wasn’t CNN celebrating when Obama sent Guantanamo terrorists back to the fight? Didn’t they celebrate Obama’s executive amnesty?
Again, Arpaio might well have racially profiled Latinos. That’s a decision for a court, when there are witnesses, a defense, and a jury.
Until then, the progressive media is still missing the larger point: Joe Arpaio believes that he was doing his best with limited funds to secure the safety of Arizona’s citizens against illegal immigrants, criminals and Mexican cartels.
What we’re fighting, CNN, are not officials pardoning thugs. We’re fighting politicians unwilling to secure our border and protect our citizens.
Worse, we’re fighting a wave of progressive double-speak that is still putting American lives at risk – in sanctuary cities, in the quick release of ICE hold-overs, in biased rulings by activist judges, and in the media accusations of racism for anyone who believes Americans have a right to determine who comes into our country.
We can’t maintain a society that allows foreign nationals to flout our laws while we punish law enforcement for enforcing those laws.
But the takeaway here almost as unsettling: just as Obama had his pen and his phone, just as activists have their judges and their press, Trump now has his pardons. And the progressive media wants us to believe this is about white supremacy?