Opinion: With Arpaio pardon, Trump sides with bigots … again

(AP)

President Trump has pardoned former Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been found guilty in a federal court of repeatedly, publicly and systematically violating the Fourth Amendment, then repeatedly, publicly and systematically ignoring court orders to cease.

The Fourth Amendment, just to remind you, protects individuals against unreasonable search and seizures by their government. It is one of our foundation stones of American freedom. However, if you looked like a Latino to Arpaio, you did not have Fourth Amendment rights. You did not have the freedom that the Constitution guaranteed to other Americans, and were assumed to be an illegal immigrant. Arpaio and his officers would stop you in your car or on the street or even roust you from your home, arrest you and jail you with no probable cause and no criminal charge other than your ethnicity.

Time and again the courts told Arpaio to stop. Time and again, Arpaio refused. In his mind he was not only above the law, he WAS the law. He even said so, publicly. When reminded that even he had to obey the Constitution and the federal courts, Arpaio disagreed.

“No,” he said. “Nobody is higher than me. I am the elected sheriff by the people. I don’t serve any governor or the president.”

Citing those and many other comments, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton last month found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt, ruling that he had shown “flagrant disregard” for the law.

“Not only did Defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise,” Bolton found.

And of course, racial profiling was far from Arpaio’s only abuse of office. To cite another example, he once sent officers in the middle of the night to the homes of two reporters who had written critically of him, arresting  and jailing them on trumped-up charges. Maricopa County had to pay $3.75 million to settle that case.  He also initiated and staged an elaborate assassination attempt against himself, forcing the county to pay millions more to the man he had entrapped in that publicity stunt. I’ve never seen a total for the taxpayer money paid out to settle lawsuits caused by Arpaio, but it’s well over $50 million and may approach twice that.

(UPDATE: Further research reveals that I vastly underestimated Arpaio’s financial impact. Maricopa County has had to pay more than $140 million in damages just to settle brutality cases in its jails under Arpaio’s supervision, where more than 160 inmates have died.)

Through it all, Arpaio has never shown a bit of contrition.

By praising Arpaio’s actions even while pardoning him, while never once acknowledging his crimes, Trump has embraced the lawlessness, the abuse of government power and the bigotry that Arpaio exemplified. Coming after Trump’s own remarks about Charlottesville, his past comments about Mexicans, his claim that an American judge of Mexican descent could not handle his federal fraud case, etc., it further cements Trump’s record as a politician willing to appeal to the worst in America to undermine what is best about it.

Apparently, he may also soon order the resumption of deportations of the so-called Dreamers, young people who have been brought here illegally as children, who have lived here almost all of their lives, who have educated themselves and have jobs and who have known no other country.  He once promised to treat them with “great heart,” but in his increasing bitterness and anger, he may make them his victims instead.

By the way, this was Trump one year ago today:

Reader Comments 0

1246 comments
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DecaturDramaQueen
DecaturDramaQueen

Every move Trump makes is intended to distract us from his involvement in Russian money laundering (through his real estate transactions) He'd rather continue to be admired by his base for aligning with KKK and Nazis and obstruct justice by pardoning fellow racists than see (what he calls "fake") headlines about conspiracy and money laundering that can result in his removal from office.

Peachs
Peachs

Every time the Republican politicians report on the hurricane they use a lot of I or Trump, or the president while the mayor of Houston is fighting the flood not trying to promote the president or themselves..

luckjoe
luckjoe

@Peachs You never listened to an Obama speech? I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,

Deplorable Veteran
Deplorable Veteran

Jay wasn't very upset when Obama  let go ( pardoned ) the Gitmo terrorists  .

elgrunir
elgrunir

Whoa.

"Let go" the terrorists?

Oh, that's right---everyone there was/is a terrorist, especially people turned in by others to collect a general bounty.

No evidence, no nothing, but you're a patriot, aren't you?

No pardons, by the way, LIAR.

Peachs
Peachs

You people work over time to normalize Trump with ridiculous comparisons.

Corey
Corey

@luckjoe @Peachs  You lie. You never listened to Obama and changed the channel every time he appeared on TV. You relied on right wing zealots to tell you what he said. Truth is Obama rarely referred to himself. He most often said "we". When Trump refers to himself in the third person alarms bells should go off. Speaking of yourself in the third person is indicative of something psychologically amiss. 

luckjoe
luckjoe

Jay took a word from the Hillary R Clinton playbook; bigot...

Peachs
Peachs

Tell me one thing Trump has done for you. Then I listen to Obama stories. If you like Trump you probably think someone has cheated you, instead of maybe you could have done something different yourself!

luckjoe
luckjoe

@Peachs Unemployment down, food stamp participation down, stock market up. What did Obama do for you? War on cops, destroyed the healthcare system, funded Iran, lied about Benghazi, created a mess in Syria, embraced illegal aliens (Dreamers are the future of America).

Corey
Corey

@luckjoe @Peachs  Trump walks into a renovated house, flip the light switch and exclaims look at all the work I did. God forbid Trump having to walk into the Oval Office on day one with the absolute chaos Obama inherited. People like you suffer selective amnesia. 

Sooth
Sooth

@luckjoe @Peachs  Wow, dude, you really tuned out a whole recession, didn't ya?  Obama inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression (btw, said recession was largely caused by GOP policies under Bush).  Obama inherited a ruinous war built on lies - and, oh yeah, he actually CAUGHT the chief terrorist that should have been killed years earlier by Bush.  Yes, America's health care system is messed up.  At least Obama tried to do something, not bury his head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong.

luckjoe
luckjoe

Jay, What about the Gitmo terrorist that Obama released, the 1,900 criminals serving life sentences for federal crimes that Obama released from prison? Crickets

Peachs
Peachs

A loss war on drugs reconized by Obama. Trump keeps sending troops.

Corey
Corey

@luckjoe Overall, the percentage of former detainees released by both Obama and former President George W. Bush confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorism dropped a percentage point, to 29 percent.

The report, which is released every March and September, comes after President Trump earlier in the dayincorrectly blamed Obama for releasing all the former detainees who have reengaged in terrorism

Corey
Corey

@luckjoe  Nonviolent drug offenders who were caught up in the "War On Drugs". The mandatory minimums mean that a person with 15gms of crack received exponentially more time than in individual caught with 15gms of powder cocaine. Crack and cocaine are one and the same, just different forms.  

rimsky
rimsky

New Sheet on a Sunday.  "The abandonment of a president"

Mr Jay you are on fire.

~moonbat_betty~
~moonbat_betty~

@rimsky

Yes, much like a dog poop wrapped in the ajc and lit on fire on your doorstep.

Don't step on it or you'll be sorry.



Peachs
Peachs

He barely recognizes the problems in Houston and when he does it is a self promotion about Trump. His surrogates are all sounding like Sarah Huckleberry Sanders, mad as hell you asked a question, and some gang groupies defending their gang leader like a cult of hippies!

Peachs
Peachs

The south lost the civil war because they were weaker. They had show money but no real substance. State rights have a different flavor when argued by blue states. The blue states are stronger,economically., educationally, inventively, morally, all reasons the south lost and the blue aren't handicapped with.

I think the blues would win a Civil War by just announcing they're walking out never firing a shot! They are that much stronger than the rest of these red , poor, beggar, mentally ill, delusional states, that are baggage to the manifest destiny of the American dream.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@Peachs BS, they lost because they were out numbered. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!   LOL

Peachs
Peachs

The southern agrarian economy was slave driven and not not geared for an indepentant society.. I think the south was bluffing to get their way and Lincoln call em on it!

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

New sheetz. Jay, you're getting a work-out!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Since some folk are slow and want to make it about the Clinton's and not look at who and what Trump pardoned. Why would Trump pardon a bigot in the 21st century who has not shown one once of contrition for being a bigot? Bigots are victims and need love too?

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

This has got to be the earliest pardon in a president's first term. It's certainly the most despicable.

elgrunir
elgrunir

Earliest resignation would help.

honested
honested

@JeffreyEav 

A man untethered from law, convention, appropriateness or reality.

Sooth
Sooth

@luckjoe @honested @JeffreyEav  luckjoe, stop drinking the Koolaid and wake up to the fact that your Cheeto Jesus isn't doing anything to help you.  This pardon shows nothing but Trump's contempt for the basis of law in this country.  It's despicable, and he should be impeached.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Man this cooler weather feels great.

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

Trump is fine with violating the 4th amendment. It's the 2nd that his base cares about. The rest of The Constitution is fake news. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Ychromosome  They care very deeply about the 10th Amendment when there is a D in the WH.

TBS
TBS

When the Boston Tea Party took place why didn't those who planned and participated not want to"render unto Caesar which was Caesar's"?  (Matthew 22:21)

You know the Christian mores, values and ethics thing? 

Oh never mind........ it's a select whatever meets the narrative when it's time to apply those Christian mores, values and ethics.

Got it.  

honested
honested

@TBS 

We should have made the national motto be "Anything For A Buck".

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

@TBS Those people wound up in Canada. I hear it's a nice place. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234

the slaves that were brought to the America's[sic] during the time should be grateful

ROFLMAO!

And there's your sign.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Kamchak @td1234  You have to remember - the Paulding County historian posted not that long ago that slavery wasn't evil prior to around April 12th, 1865

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Kamchak @td1234 

TD needs to learn the graphic, horrifying, gruesome facts of what slavery in the Americas was truly like. Caribbean slavery was the worst. (7 years was the average life expectancy of a slave from sale to death.) But the American South wasn't so far behind.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Trump pardoned an utterly disgusting man who has not shown one once of contrition for what he did.

honested
honested

@StraightNoChaser 

The sort of parallel universe thinking that occurs when the reins of power fall into the hands of a man with no comprehension of leadership.

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser Clinton and Hillary's brothers showed "Contrition" before of after they were pardoned? Marc Rich showed "contrition"? How about Manning?