“America’s Toughest Sheriff” is working on a new moniker. How about “America’s Most Foolish Sheriff?”
It is hard to know if Sheriff Joe Arpaio really believes this birther stuff or if he is just going along for the ride to appease his political supporters and put pressure on the Obama administration because of its civil rights investigation into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona.
It is probably a combination of both. That Arpaio even partially believes birtherism raises serious questions about his investigative skills and critical thinking. The birthers have been discredited on every major issue they have brought forth. The State of Hawaii has issued press releases that it has Obama’s birth certificate and released copies to him. Obama in turn has released those publicly. Birthers, in turn, refute it without presenting one piece of evidence that Obama’s mother was ever in Kenya, much less gave birth to Obama there.
A sheriff that cannot figure this “mystery” out is not much of a sheriff.
Yet Arpaio is determined to take everyone for a ride into birtherland this election year. His cold-case posse has determined that Obama’s long-form birth certificate is a forgery. He has taken the new birther line that the layers discovered in Obama’s birth certificate means that it was put together digitally. Arpaio has not figured out that any document scanned with over-the-counter software has the same type of layers and distortions.
Now Arpaio is taking the Maricopa County taxpayers for a ride. His posse operates on donations. However, when Arpaio sent the head of his posse investigation, Mike Zullo, to Hawaii to request a copy of the elusive birth certificate, Arpaio also sent along a deputy for security on the taxpayer’s dime.
Arpaio’s response to the criticism of spending taxpayer dollars on the political equivalent of a wild goose chase:
‘It’s one deputy, so what? We have security issues, too, that I can’t got into,’ Arpaio said on Friday. ‘For six months we were not spending any money. When you’re doing investigations sometimes things change, you put more resources into it.’”
Security issues? What is Arpaio thinking that Obama and hired Kenyan thugs are going to take out his investigators? Perhaps Arpaio thinks that the federal government under Obama’s direction is going to conduct a mysterious disappearance of Zullo with him ending up in Guantanmo Bay.
Arpaio is now talking about the posse refunding the sheriff’s department but that does not get the deputy’s time back from a wasted trip to Hawaii.
In related news of stupidity by Arizona public officials, Secretary of State Ken Bennett demanded yet another confirmation from Hawaii that the birth certificate is valid. Finally, Hawaii confirmed that in a letter to Bennett. That satisfied Bennett, but Arpaio found fault with that too.
Zullo confirmed that he an Arpaio believe the information sent to Bennett was released only because Zullo appeared in Hawaii requesting the birth certificate. Furthermore, the information provided to Bennett “is nothing more than a highly lawyered, cleverly crafted document that we can now prove does not verify what it appears to verify.”
It appears the next step in birtherism is that the State of Hawaii is part of a vast conspiracy to keep a Kenyan in the White House.
These antics would be harmless if not for the publicity they generate and confusion that it creates for people who might not follow the news closely or have not dwelved deeply into researching how birtherism is built upon distortions, exaggerations and outright lies by a handful of people who want Obama out of office no matter what it takes.