While being investigated by los federales for his policies that violated the rights of illegal immigrants, Joe Arpaio went on the lecture circuit and told a crowd in Houston that he arrested folks just for the heck of it.
Nice, Sheriff Joe, very nice.
If there was ever any doubt that the federal government needs to deal with Joe Arpaio as they would deal with anyone else suspected of criminal behavior - this is it. Enough of the acting like a scared child when confronting the big bad bully of Maricopa County. He's just a sheriff. If he broke the law, if he violated the civil rights of folks living within his jurisdiction, it's time he had to face the music.
Joe Arpaio has been allowed to flaunt his disregard for civil rights for years because, for some reason, everyone is afraid of the man. Los federales have brought down federal judges, senators, congressmen and governors. Why it's so hard to force a sheriff in Arizona to answer for his actions, I have yet to understand.
In an interview Thursday, Arpaio defended his comments before Texans For Immigration Reform as a collection of humorous off-the-cuff remarks intended merely to show that he wasn't going to back down to critics.
"These are not official, under-oath speeches," Arpaio said. "It's strictly a speech that when I'm talking to certain groups, they like to hear what I have to say, because they know I'm under the gun."
But as long as everyone stands by too scared to do anything, the little bully in the southwest is allowed to continue his campaign of intimidation. Joe Arpaio isn't bigger than the Constitution. When he was sworn into office he took an oath to uphold the laws of Arizona and the laws of the United States. But he's given a free pass to do whatever the hell he wants to do.
Arresting people just because he can do it? Why not? Who's going to challenge him?
Petty tyrants are allowed to humiliate folks because no one is willing to stand up to them. If this latest episode isn't enough to get the feds involved, I don't know what is. He's on tape telling an audience that he arrested hundreds of people just because he could - not because he had any legal reason to do so.
Now's the time for President Obama and Eric Holder to actually stand up and do something about the flagrant abuses in Maricopa County. Why do I get the feeling that nothing's going to happen?