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Obama gets tough with Arpaio
October 14, 2009 2:02 PM   Subscribe


 
Wow, he sounds like a right weirdo.
posted by Artw at 2:02 PM on October 14, 2009


This is all I've got.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:06 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Good. Arpaio is an out of control, power-hungry psycho.
posted by Ratio at 2:07 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Joe is our very own racist, bombastic, power-drunk Buford T. Justice, right here in Maricopa County.

One of the best things about Gov. Napolitano being named DHS was that she's the perfect foil for Arpaio.
posted by darkstar at 2:11 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes. This is a good start.
posted by sriracha at 2:18 PM on October 14, 2009


Good. Fuck Arpaio. Fuck the people who find concepts like "America's Toughest Sheriff" laudable, while we're at it.
posted by maxwelton at 2:22 PM on October 14, 2009 [12 favorites]


The mirrored sunglasses with the mirrors on the insides...
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"America's Toughest Sheriff"? That fat sack of crap probably couldn't beat up my mom. I hate how obese, middle-aged (and usually white) football coaches, sheriffs, business executives, etc. get described as "tough" because they're good at exercising/abusing their authority and looking mean. More like "America's Biggest Bully." Take away the authority invested in them and they probably wouldn't be able to fight their way through a PTA meeting.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:24 PM on October 14, 2009 [77 favorites]


A meeting of Pterodactyls, Tigers, and Alligators ... What mortal man could?
posted by clearly at 2:35 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


DEFROCK ARPAIO, DISPENSE PEACE PRIZE.
posted by boo_radley at 2:35 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


That bastard has caused a lot of needless misery. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of his much deserved public humiliation and downfall.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:39 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Arpaio's aggressive tactics include the jailing of illegal immigrants in tent cities surrounded by barbed wire in the middle of Arizona's searingly hot summers, the reduction of meal costs to 20 cents per day, the use of pink jail clothing for men, and chain gangs for women inmates.

I'll give him the pink jail clothing as clever, but the rest of his successes fail under the quin-historical-test of "Would we be ashamed of ourselves in a generation if we did this to people during wartime?"

I've been watching this guy for years, and every time he makes the news, it's something larger, louder, and more alienating than before.

So yeah, I guess my response to the headline is... good.
posted by quin at 2:41 PM on October 14, 2009


I foresee a photo op wherein he performs a a series of "Citizen's Arrests" and drops them on the Federal Courthouse steps.
posted by madajb at 2:42 PM on October 14, 2009


It's amazing how much this man regularly pisses me off. And I don't even live in Arizona anymore.

I wish everyone would stop bringing up the chain gangs and the pink underwear. That's not really the part we're all pissed off about.
posted by ErWenn at 2:48 PM on October 14, 2009


One of the best things about Gov. Napolitano being named DHS was that she's the perfect foil for Arpaio.

It's interesting that you say that, darkstar, because even though I'm a big Janet Napolitano fan, one thing that's always kind of bothered me about her is the way she didn't seem to work too hard to stop Arpaio while she was governor. (Cf this criticial article in Slate.)

As a native of the area, can you give us the inside scoop?
posted by albrecht at 2:49 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would appoint Lou Dobbs to replace him.
posted by Postroad at 2:52 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this guy isn't headed in the same direction as "America's Sheriff." On the other hand, one of next season's OC contenders is a self-styled Arpaio protégé.
posted by Hylas at 2:52 PM on October 14, 2009


While I'm thrilled to see him stripped of his authority, I've always thought that Arpaio's methods are just the right way to deal with high-level white-collar finance criminals. Madoff, I'm looking at you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:09 PM on October 14, 2009


You're a fool if you think this will stop him. Arpaio's primary motiviation is his own bloated ego, and he has shown himself willing in the past to pay millions of taxpayers' dollars in fines and judgments rather than change his behavior.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:12 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


His record is 300 convictions for 33,000 arrests. This is more about hating latinos than concern for illegal immigration.
posted by mullingitover at 3:17 PM on October 14, 2009 [24 favorites]


> This is more about hating latinos than concern for illegal immigration.

This. If Arpaio had been born 30-40 years earlier he would have been Bull Connor.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:23 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I hate how obese, middle-aged (and usually white) football coaches, sheriffs, business executives, etc. get described as "tough" because they're good at exercising/abusing their authority and looking mean.

You're cool with the young and skinny ones though...
posted by srboisvert at 3:24 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


He was on NPR the other days saying the federal government can't tell him what to do, and (paraphrasing this part) Obama is out to get him.
posted by edgeways at 3:26 PM on October 14, 2009


He's disgusting, and I'm sure if he could get away with it he'd be genocidal
posted by kathrineg at 3:28 PM on October 14, 2009


> You're cool with the young and skinny ones though...

Well, no. A power-drunk racist asshole is a power-drunk racist asshole. The "tough" thing is just even more absurd when the guy in question is in such poor physical condition he'd have trouble jogging around the block without having a heart attack.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:32 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't understand what this "federal authority" is. He's a Sheriff, which makes him an agent of the State of Arizona. He makes his arrests in the name of the People of the State of Arizona, just like any other Arizona peace officer.

What's the White House (or the Department of Homeland Security, for that matter) got to do with it? He doesn't need their permission and they can't order him to do, or not do, anything whatever.

About the only thing they could do is order the local US Attorney to not prosecute any cases brought to him by that Sheriff. But the Sheriff can still make arrests. (And to order a US Attorney to not enforce the law would be... very strange.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:36 PM on October 14, 2009


I don't understand what this "federal authority" is.

RTFA. Arpaio, like a number of local law enforcement officials, entered into an agreement with the federal government that granted him the authority to enforce federal immigration laws. That's how he's been able to lock up so many people in past few years. Homeland Security has now stripped him of that authority.
posted by Rangeboy at 3:40 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle: "What's the White House (or the Department of Homeland Security, for that matter) got to do with it?"

It sounds like they're stripping him of federal powers:
Under a two-year-old agreement with the federal department of homeland security, Arpaio and his deputies had been authorised to enforce federal immigration law by arresting suspected illegal immigrants in the field and by checking the immigration status of people arrested on other offences.
posted by boo_radley at 3:42 PM on October 14, 2009


You're cool with the young and skinny ones though...

Who are America's toughest young and skinny assholes then?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:43 PM on October 14, 2009


Who are America's toughest young and skinny assholes then?

I read something once about Courtney Cox's, but now that she's on that Cougar Town show, I don't think she qualifies as "young."
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:48 PM on October 14, 2009


edgeways: "He was on NPR the other days saying the federal government can't tell him what to do, and (paraphrasing this part) Obama is out to get him."

Here's the story. I hope you like false equivalences.
Sheriff JOE ARPAIO (Maricopa County, Arizona): They don't tell me what to do. I'm the elected sheriff. This is all politics - everything. They've started out by the Obama administration's first 60 days in the administration going after me with the attorney general of the United States.

RAZ: Sheriff Arpaio, as you know, there have been plenty of studies that show that a large segment of illegal immigrants in detention have not committed any violent crimes. I'm wondering if your pursuit of nonviolent people who violated immigration laws means that you haven't been able to crackdown on real violent criminals.

Sheriff ARPAIO: Well, you know what? Then let's quit locking up DUIs, prostitutes, all those misdemeanors, which 51 percent of the people in my jails that are booked there by all law enforcement are misdemeanors. So why - and by the way, those that we arrest, the majority are human smuggling violations, 1,600 is a class 4 felony. When we go into workplaces, the majority of people we arrest that are illegal have phony identification, that's why we're number one in the nation. This is just a copout by the open border people, saying he should be going after the violent criminals.
RAZ: Mm-hmm.
"The Sheriff then fell down, kicked his feet and held his breath until he turned blue."
posted by boo_radley at 3:48 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Who are America's toughest young and skinny assholes then?

I guess you don't watch America's Next Top Model.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's a good question, albrecht. I don't consider myself a brilliant political strategist, but here are some thoughts:

I think some of her previous laxness with Arpaio has been a matter of political calculation. But from what I understand, she really dislikes Arpaio (the Slate article misstates their relationship, I think). And she's been pretty vocal for years about what what she considers the right way to deal with the immigration issue and it's not Arpaio's way. DHS stripping Arpaio of his federal arrest authority in immigration cases is not at all surprising.

Some key local politics: Arpaio is the County Sheriff. His prosecutorial counterpart is County Attorney Andrew Thomas, a wheedling hyperconservative that has been on the bad side (i.e., Arpaio's side) of every Arpaio problem in the past 15 years. Thomas has been angling to run for Governor and wants it so bad he can taste it. So Thomas has been a vocal critic of Governor Napolitano and a lot of sparks have flown between them over Arpaio's recent excesses.

It's also expected that Arizona's Attorney General, Terry Goddard (a Democrat and an ally of Napolitano) will be running on the Dem ticket when Gov. Jan Brewer (Napolitano's replacement and the former Sec. of State) ends her term. No one expects Brewer to be viable as the GOP candidate, so Arpaio's buddy Thomas is widely expected to be at the top of the GOP list in the coming gubernatorial election. I.e., Arpaio's buddy will be running against Napolitano's ally.

Now consider that AZ is trending blue, and while McCain won the state, it's expected that if a home-town Senator hadn't been on the ticket, Obama may have carried Arizona. For example, we've dramatically shifted our congressional delegation from heavily GOP-weighted to now being equal Dem/GOP. And when you consider the growing Latino demographic in the state, the immigration issue becomes a major factor in future elections (and especially the coming gubernatorial race).

So, in a nutshell, you have Terry Goddard (political ally of Napolitano) vs. Andrew Thomas (political ally of Arpaio) likely to be facing off in a race for the Governor's seat, in a state which has a huge and growing Latino population that (along with many of us) has been incensed by Arpaio's racist and unConstitutional immigration enforcement practices.

So stripping Arpaio of his authority to engage in these practices not only makes good civil rights sense, it also speaks to what may well prove to be one of the biggest deciding factors in the coming Governor's race. This is why I say it's not surprising at all that Homeland Security did this and why Napolitano was likely to be Arpaio's perfect foil as DHS.
posted by darkstar at 4:16 PM on October 14, 2009 [17 favorites]


I just want to point out that this really is a civil rights feather in Obama's cap. By appointing Napolitano as DHS and taking what was surely her recommendation to strip the thug Arpaio of his federal reach, Obama has ended a Bush-era policy that was directly undermining the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of Latinos in Arizona. It's a big step forward for Arizona.
posted by darkstar at 4:22 PM on October 14, 2009 [8 favorites]


I think President Palin has found her Attorney-General.
posted by acb at 4:41 PM on October 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


Maybe he could resign so he can get on with his true work?
posted by Artw at 4:53 PM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


And because Arpaio is a racist ogre, I feel compelled to recount a statement, vile and racist as it is, that elucidates some of his support among Arizonans. I was discussing the previous elections with an elderly, white male, Yellow Dog Democrat in our state. He said, and I quote verbatim:
"I always vote a straight party line. Always Democrats. I have no time for Republicans," he said. Then after a pause, he continued, "Except for Arpaio. As long as he keeps harassing the wetbacks, he's got my vote."
Yes, that's disgusting. And yes, it really is how some people feel about Arpaio and why the bastard continues to get elected. And don't think Arpaio doesn't know it.
posted by darkstar at 5:19 PM on October 14, 2009


uncanny hengeman, feel free to explain yourself in metatalk.
posted by ryanrs at 9:11 PM on October 14, 2009


[I have no idea what the hell is going on here, but NO PRISON RAPE JOKES/WISHES and NO OTHER SADISM WISHES this is really not rocket science. we are okay losing your business if you think that's okay to do here. don't be ugly. period, end of story.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:17 PM on October 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


The New Yorker profile of Arpaio was just an excellent read. The kooky, comic, over-the-top aspects of the NY profile were nicely balanced by an analysis of how authoritarian power structures are established and maintained in community. Just fascinating.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:23 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The New Yorker profile of Arpaio was just an excellent read

I dug that too. The best part is when the unnamed man outside the Colbert studio yells at him, "fuck you! Don't ever come back here!" and he just gets in his car and rides off, like the coward he is when out of his element.

They also make the excellent point that AZ has an incredibly high crime rate. He is not tough on crime at all, he is simply "tough" on prisoners.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:30 PM on October 14, 2009


God, this fucker disgusts me. I have a fantasy where Sheriff Dupnik of Pima County will arrest Arpaio for false imprisonment if Arpaio ever does that bullshit "I'll transport them to the border myself" thing he's threatening. Probably never happen tho. (The arrest or the Arpaio's bloviating threat.)
posted by Snyder at 12:22 AM on October 15, 2009


(cue movie voiceover)
Joe Arpaio was an American hero, until one day, his powers were stripped by the overbearing President of the United States.

OBAMA: Arpaio! This is the last time you blow up 18 city blocks to fight immigration!

ARPAIO: Mr. President. With all due respect, I'd rather blow up 18 city blocks than let one Mexican get into this goddamn country.

OBAMA: That's it, Arpaio! I'm stripping you of your duties!


(resume movie voiceover)
Now, without a badge, but with a passion for guns - and his country - Joe Arpaio will fight the only thing he knows - Immigration. Joe Arpaio is....THE IMMIGRATIONER!

The Immigrationer. Starring John Cena as Joe Arpaio and John Voight as President Obama. Starts July 4, 2010. Get Ready to Stop Some Immigrants.


Does anybody else see this as a potential story for the Larry the Cable Guy demographic?
posted by glaucon at 6:43 AM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]






Updates? Looks to me like ol' Joe Arpaio is a-gunna end up in jail. Can't imagine there's any way out of it.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:39 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


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