Why Maricopa County Matters

 Posted on December 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

Scott Greenfield asks:

It's grown tedious hearing about, and writing about, the doings of Crazy Joe in Maricopa. No doubt he has a few more bullets in his gun that will soon whistle through the air. If there's no one, from the Governor to the United States Attorney to the indicted Chairman of the Board of Supervisors to the judges to the lawyers to the citizens, with the guts to take him on, then why waste more time or bandwidth on Joe Arpaio?

Fair question.

Here (h/t Geoff Berg of Partisan Gridlock) is the answer: if we let Sheriff Joe eat our cornbread, we're gonna be ironing his drawers and clipping his toenails. If the voters of Maricopa County are allowed to elect a despot who freely disregards and cows the judicial branch of government, then next year it'll be Pima County and after that Cochise County and then somewhere in New Mexico or Utah or the wilds of Colorado until eventually it's next door.

Maricopa County has a full-fledged constitutional crisis that threatens the republican form of government (guaranteed by Article IV Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution) in that county.

Am I exaggerating? Students of the Constitution have always realized that our tripartite government relies on the good will of the executive (which controls the use of violence) and the legislative (which controls the money) to do what the judiciary (which controls bupkus) says. When the guys with all of the guns stop listening to the guys in black robes, they stop participating in our Constitutionally-formed government and become no better than warlords.

Sheriff Joe is what we get when we leave our form of government, rather than just the people serving us in it, up to the scared white Republicans. His conduct, and his reelections, are proof that the voters of Maricopa County do not love the Constitution. If the sheriff feels free to disregard court orders, what is to stop him and his army from staying on even after the voters get tired of him? Sure, there is a legislative office somewhere (state? county?) that controls his budget right now, but once Warlord Joe has the judiciary under his control, he'll be able to find money somewhere and tell the legislature to piss off too-they don't have any guns either.

The mainstream media are paying no attention, and everybody from the voters to the judges in Maricopa County seems to be either effete or complicit. Why should guys like Scott spend any more time or bandwidth on Maricopa County? Because tyranny must be stopped somewhere, and it thrives in darkness.

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