Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio Says He's Running for "Spite" at Far-Right Wingnut Convention

Joe at the CSPOA. If you don't want to watch 30 minutes of blather, the highlights are below

The mutual embrace of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and far right wing extremist groups has been going on for some time now, Arpaio's ludicrous foray into the conspiranut world of birtherdom being but the latest example.

As I've documented at length, Arpaio has cozied up to racists, hard-core nativists and assorted fringe rightists in recent years, and they've cozied up right back, hailing him as their hero. This obscene tango has dovetailed neatly with Arpaio's discovery of illegal immigration as an issue he can exploit for political purposes.

So it should be no surprise that Arpaio recently graced the stage at a convention of Richard Mack's conspiratorial Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mack is a former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona who has made a name for himself in far-right kookery by pimping the idea that a sheriff's power trumps all other laws. 

He also shills for an extremist organization known as the Oath Keepers, made up of former and current law enforcement and military personnel who believe it is their duty to defy what they deem to be unconstitutional orders.

These unconstitutional orders include a number of paranoid wingnut fantasies such as, "any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps," and, "orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union," among others.

Mack's CSPOA is aligned closely with the Oath Keepers, which sponsored his January 30-31 Vegas conference. The two groups share the same basic beliefs.

"The county sheriff is the line in the sand," states the CSPOA website. "The county sheriff is the one who can say to the feds, `Beyond these bounds you shall not pass.'This is not only within the scope of the sheriff's authority; it's the sheriff's sworn duty."

Mack writes on the CSPOA site that, 

"We do not have to stand by and watch while America is destroyed from within. If our counties, cities, and states and all local officers keep their oaths to protect us from tyranny, we can win this battle to take our country back. This is our plan, our goal and our quest."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons