When you're the editorial board of the newspaper of record in a benighted patch of sand like Maricopa County, I suspect it's easy to fall prey to self-deception and confuse 20/20 hindsight with omniscience.
Particularly if your collective voice is the only one you listen to, as is the case with the wannabe know-it-alls who say grace over the unsigned opinion pieces of the Arizona Republic.
Convincing others of your omniscience, that's a harder nut. The Rep's mediocre high muck-a-mucks think themselves capable of Orwellian mind-tricks, and like Soviet-era Pravda can simply make revisionist history a reality by declaring it so.
Take the latest asinine offering from the Rep's editorial board, which would have you believe that all the organizers of the failed recall of Sheriff Joe Arpaio needed was "patience."
Alas, if only the recall committee Respect Arizona had waited for federal Judge G. Murray Snow's recent ruling in the racial profiling lawsuit Melendres v. Arpaio, success would have been inevitable.
"A recall election requires an immediate justification," the know-it-alls advise. "It can't be launched simply because you passionately dislike an elected official."
Forget about the recall of state Senate President Russell Pearce, pulled off by the same folks, which was motivated in large part by "passionate dislike," same as a lot of politics, by the way.
Not that the Rep was all gun ho about the idea of recalling Pearce. See, the Republic is a newspaper that embraces stasis as its watchword. And recalls are uncertain, democratic, and often chaotic events.
About the Arpaio recall, the Republic's mostly-hoary scribblers of opinion suggest that,
"The recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow that Arpaio's deputies racially profiled drivers stopped during the sheriff's preposterous `crime suppression sweeps' would have provided just such a justification [for a recall]."
Then comes the cliche disguised as wisdom:
"Timing is everything in politics, and Parraz et al wasted theirs -- to say nothing of the goodwill and scarce dollars of would-be supporters -- in this quixotic pursuit of the sheriff."
Harrumph. And double-harrumph.
Just out of curiosity, how did the Rep know with almighty certainty that Judge Snow would rule when he did and how he did?
Granted, I knew before, during and after last year's trial in Melendres that Arpaio was "guilty as sin" of racial profiling.
And it was difficult for me to see, given the preponderance of the evidence stacked against the MCSO, how Judge Snow could not come down against Arpaio's office.
Yet, mysterious are the ways of federal judges. Most people expected Snow to rule earlier. When he did, even the plaintiffs' lawyers were ecstatic that Snow had not cut the baby in half, but rather had done justice without compromise.
The Republic was no oracle here. It was against the recall of Arpaio from jump.
Shortly after Respect Arizona filed the recall paperwork with the county, the Rep was not telling Joe's foes that they should wait for Snow's ruling.
Instead, the Rep's editorial board declared, ex cathedra, "It should fail," because the recall was an "abuse," echoing board member Rob Robb's idiotic opinion of the Pearce recall that it was an "abuse of power."
That initial Rep ditty on the Arpaio recall also falsely reported that the recall effort had already raised $1.3 million.
Hey, facts schmacts. When you work for the Republic, you can make them up as you go along.
About the same time, Laurie Roberts, perhaps the paper's best columnist since the Rep sent Richard Ruelas to the back of the bus, called the Arpaio recall a "slap in the face" to voters.
A slap in the face that, if it had happened, would have been a self-inflicted blow, as only the signatures of qualified county electors count toward the needed total.
This is the same Republic that shortly after the election maintained that Arpaio possessed, "the potential to lead Republicans in the right direction on immigration reform."
Sure. And Bull Connor could have led the Deep South on integration, if he had been so inclined. African-Americans needn't have had a say in their fate. It should be up to the bigots and the oppressors to make good with minorities. Right, know-it-alls?
So speaketh the paper of the old and the terminally Anglo. A paper that allows the sheriff's son-in-law to sit on its editorial board.
Does it matter to the Rep that, according to county elections director Karen Osborne, 14,504 new voter registration forms were turned in by groups supporting the recall?
Of course not.
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This is why the Republic's opinion is irrelevant. Arpaio's foes are not going away. They're in it for the long haul. As Citizens for a Better Arizona's Chad Snow stated on the recall's last day, they will not rest until Arpaio is "in jail or out of office."
That's because, unlike the self-important keyboard-pokers at the Rep who are well-paid to decry the blood, sweat and ambition of others, those devoted to the cause of justice have skin in the game.
They will not relent or keep quiet or bow. If they had adopted that stance five years ago, do you think the Melendres ruling would have happened?