It didn’t surprise me to hear that Sheriff Arpaio sent a Deputy and volunteer to Hawaii (on the taxpayer dime) to verify the President’s birth certificate. Now a normal, sane person would ask why would a county Sheriff in AZ, who doesn’t have jurisdiction, do such a ridiculous thing?
Well it could be a few reasons. First, Arpaio, ever the publicity whore, didn’t like it when AZ Secretary of State Bennett decided to out-crazy him and demand proof of the President’s birth certificate. Hawaiian officials politely told Bennett to get stuffed since they had already answered that question a bazillion times AND added that Bennett did not have the authority to demand the original birth certificate. It is strange to me that the same people that have accepted the exact same procedure for previous presidents (i.e., having health department or vital stats officials attest to the fact that they have an original and trustworthy birth certificate on file) but refuse to accept the results of the same procedure for Pres. Obama. I wonder why they keep questioning it? /snark.
I find it equally strange that “birthers” are also ignoring the fact that the former AZ Secretary of State, now Governer, Jan Brewer accepted the word of Hawaiian officials in 2008. That established a legal precedent that they are conveniently ignoring. Arpaio, Bennett and other Birthers are in effect saying that both Hawaii officials and Brewer lied in 2008 and are lying now. No wonder Hawaiian officials are getting irritated.
In any case, after Secretary Bennett made an ass out of himself and had made AZ once again the laughinstock of the nation, Arpaio decided he would turn the stupidity up to 11 and actually send someone to Hawaii to flash their badge and demand to see the original. It was, of course, in vain. If the Secretary of State didn’t have jurisdiction, Arpaio certainly wouldn’t have any. Again, these silly demands were rebuffed.
The second reason Arpaio did this was simply to divert attention from the Federal indictment that will soon have his name on it. The third and last reason would be that it will encourage more right wing extremists to support Arpaio. Their reasoning will be something like this- ‘this indictment is just persecution of Arpaio because He got too close to the truth regarding the birth certificate’. Arpaio has been setting the groundwork for this kind of ‘defense’ for a couple of years now. Take a look at this timeline of his birther activity amidst the news of the Federal investigation.
So I am not surprised by Arpaio’s behavior since he’s been publicly planning this all along. What is a surprise to me is that other members of the AZ GOP aren’t publicly condemning Arpaio. Where are our senior statesmen Senators Kyl and McCain? Where is the Governor? I understand why local officials haven’t stood up to Joe. When local officials did try to reign him in he harassed and falsely accused them of crimes….actually ruining their lives. But there is no way that Arpaio could intimidate these more powerful figures. So why aren’t they saying or doing something to stop this nonsense?
I will tell you why. These more influential and powerful Republicans want Arpaio to continue his crazy investigation because it rallies their base, it harasses the President and distracts voters from real issues during an election year, and they can appear to keep their hands clean of the scandal. A win-win for them. Too bad it’s not a win for the country.