Open Thread: Trump & Arpaio, Dirty Birds of A Nasty Feather

Hispanic conservatives who spoke to BuzzFeed News this week continually made the argument that their moral and political high ground would be wiped away if Trump, by choosing to pardon Arpaio, discards the Republican refrain that they support certain policies because of the rule of law.

“A pardon of Joe Arpaio is only good if he pardons the 11 million who are here, if he shows the same grace,” said Daniel Garza, the executive director of the Koch brothers-led LIBRE Initiative. “I don’t think he deserves it, this guy violated the law to violate the rights of individuals.”

“For Trump supporters who talk negatively about amnesty, it sure seems they are OK with it when it’s one of their own,” said Ruben Alvarez, cofounder of Molera Alvarez and a 25-year Republican veteran of Arizona politics…

“For many of us, it’s deeply personal, especially us younger Latinos who started in politics protesting Arpaio, back when he was popular,” said Democratic Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego. “Activists lost jobs, were arrested, and followed home by deputies as a source of intimidation.”

Those who opposed Arpaio, Gallego said, used every legitimate process through the system to remove him, including protesting, running candidates against him, and working through the Department of Justice. “For the president to wipe that away is disheartening and leads to a sense of disempowerment,” he added.

Democratic groups and activists are already preparing to go full blast if Arpaio is pardoned. The Latino Victory Project, which works to get Hispanics elected, is rallying Latino leaders to make a forceful statement if the pardon happens, and told BuzzFeed News it will work to get state charges brought against Arpaio…

Arizona Democratic Party spokesperson Enrique Gutiérrez said some candidates are using the threat of an Arpaio pardon to recruit supporters and cast the possible pardon as one that would “empower anti-Latino and anti-immigrant groups” and “be a pardon to white supremacy.”…

Reminder, from Ryan Gabrielson at ProPublica, of “The Joe Arpaio I Knew”:

For most of Joe Arpaio’s two-plus decades as Maricopa County sheriff, he directed operations from the top floor of a downtown Phoenix tower, worlds away from the jails overseen by rank and-file deputies. The executive offices wrapped around an expansive conference room, where I spent weeks in early 2008 with banker boxes full of arrest records, and hanging out with Arpaio himself, a politician who built his career on bashing immigrants long before the rise of Donald Trump…

The sheriff’s office had spent the previous year carrying out a constitutionally dubious dragnet search for undocumented immigrants. Patrol deputies became expert at inventing pretexts for stopping the “load cars” that ferried immigrants through the county to points across the nation. Sheriffs descended on neighborhoods where day laborers waited for people willing to pay for their work. Voters repeatedly re-elected Arpaio as he carried out his pledge to transform the sheriff’s office into “a full-fledged anti-illegal immigration agency.”…

First elected in 1992 as a tough-on-crime reformer, Arpaio built his reputation on disregard for inmates. Faced with overcrowded cells, he erected the infamous “tent city,” an outdoor jail that held the convicts in U.S. Army tents from the Korean War. During Arizona summers, temperatures sweltered well above 110 degrees in the tents. Inmates were caught stealing underwear, so Arpaio had all jail underwear dyed pink in the belief that would end the black-market for briefs. Or that’s what he told the press, which produced scores of stories about the sheriff and his endeavors.

He’d been uninterested in undocumented immigrants until 2006, when he seized on rising public anger over the issue, both locally and nationally. Once Arpaio was in the battle, he was all-in. Collateral damage accumulated quickly. By 2008, numerous U.S. citizens had been wrongly arrested by Maricopa County deputies, and several filed a federal lawsuit accusing the sheriff’s office of racial profiling…

Further indication of Trump’s target audience, aka The (Very) Base:

72 replies
  1. 1
    Jeffro says:

    Screw it – it’s one more thing that’ll prove to Trump’s Not-Base that he’s unfit. Tie yourself to this as you will, Republicans.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Keith P. says:

    Remember the Marc Rich investigations? Me neither.

  4. 4
    efgoldman says:

    If he goes ahead and does it (after all, people are telling him he can’t and shouldn’t, so he probably will) could it do for Arizona what prop 187 did in California?

  5. 5
    Mike in NC says:

    Arpaio will be the Czar put in charge of building The Wall, meaning it may never see the light of day.

  6. 6
    efgoldman says:

    @Keith P.:

    Remember the Marc Rich investigations?

    Marc Rich was much less well-known, albeit a FOB. He also didn’t openly and defiantly hurt a whole group of people.

  7. 7
  8. 8

    Border Patrol checkpoints in place so that if undocumented people flee the hurricane, they will be caught.

  9. 9
    jacy says:

    The always-cogent Lawfare blog has a piece on why a pardon of Arpaio increases Trump’s legal jeopardy.

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Joe Arpaio credits Alex Jones for potential Trump pardon


  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Assholes.

  12. 12
    jacy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    That’s just evil. Soulless.No other words for it.

  13. 13

    In case you’re wondering what a colonia is, here’s an FAQ.

  14. 14
    BBA says:

    Arpaio was booted from office last year. He’ll be 88 years old when the next election for sheriff comes around. Whether or not he serves a symbolic sentence of a few months in Club Fed is beside the point – he’s probably out of power for good.

  15. 15
    efgoldman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Border Patrol checkpoints in place so that if undocumented people flee the hurricane, they will be caught.

    Rat bastards! They should be out helping people.
    Would it be too much to ask for a couple of their stations to blow down and vehicles get destroyed?

    Where did the formatting buttons go?

  16. 16


    Whether or not he serves a symbolic sentence of a few months in Club Fed is beside the poinT

    Is it not actually the entire point? Or else trump wouldn’t be doing this?

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    We can tolerate a white supremacist presence in this country no longer.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    If Border Patrol agents end up getting killed thanks to the Republicans’ anti-immigrant hysteria, I had better not hear ONE FUCKING WORD about them being some kind of fucking “heroes” because they died to prevent refugees from fleeing an oncoming natural disaster. 😡

  19. 19
    dexwood says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    You can always count on the Border Patrol to be fascist assholes. My few experiences with them in southern New Mexico always made me want to break something. And, I’m an old white guy.

  20. 20
    randy khan says:

    If this happens, it will be one more example of him literally doing what everyone tells him not to do.

  21. 21
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Border Patrol checkpoints in place so that if undocumented people flee the hurricane, they will be caught.

    And we do this because we’re Christians, do we?

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:


    Arpaio told his deputies not to investigate child molestation cases if they thought the victim might be here illegally.

    He needs to fucking die in jail.

  23. 23
    tobie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Even the Texas Secretary of State’s website can’t hide the fact that these “colonias” are akin to shanty towns with no sewer systems, no electricity, no modern plumbing, no building codes for dwellings, etc. To top it off, the site says that many of the colonias are built in flood plains. This is a disaster waiting to happen. How can so-called developers get away with this?

  24. 24

    @Cheryl Rofer: I really hope people are paying attention. NHC just updated the 3-day probability, and this nasty boy is slated to roar ashore just south of Houston, and then stall. A storm that sits in place for 48 hours stands to dump a lot of water on whatever can’t get out of the way.

    Yet we spend our fortunes trying to lock people up instead of helping them. Grrrr.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Millard Filmore: A healthy percentage of “Christians” in this country do not follow the teachings of Jesus.

  26. 26
    efgoldman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    A healthy percentage of “Christians” in this country do not follow the teachings of Jesus.

    Maybe it’s alternate universe Jesus, like Spock with a beard.

  27. 27
    MomSense says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:


  28. 28
    MomSense says:


    We’re in the wrong timeline with the wrong president and the wrong Jesus.

  29. 29
    joel hanes says:


    Maybe it’s alternate universe Jesus, like Spock with a beard.

    Remember this guy ?

    Jesus’s General

  30. 30
    efgoldman says:

    @joel hanes:

    Remember this guy ?

    I checked him fairly regularly until he stopped posting.

  31. 31

    @tobie: TBH, I didn’t know about colonias until tonight. The FAQ says that they are in New Mexico too, but I am wondering if it isn’t Texas law that makes them possible. There are a lot of things about the border that aren’t generally known. A more positive example is that a number of industries, including the car industry, share manufacturing tasks across the border for the most advantageous tax situations. So when a car is manufactured, parts are done in New Mexico, others in Mexico, and then they are put together in one place or another. This is one way jobs have left the Rust Belt. Not all have gone to Mexico, just relocated in the US. Also true of Arizona and Texas. I just learned that a few months ago.

  32. 32
    sigaba says:

    This could be Arizona’s Prop 187 Moment.

  33. 33
    danielx says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you…

  34. 34
    Feathers says:

    Didn’t I read somewhere that the party is legally an admission of guilt? If so, wouldn’t an Arpaio pardon leave Maricopa County wide open for all sorts of lawsuits from the folks the Sherrif done wrong? Not that there is anything wrong with that of course.

  35. 35
    danielx says:


    It does feel like a parallel world scenario is playing out – all the time.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @danielx: I am no more shocked than you are, but, “Gah!” is still my response.

  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Evil azz muthaphuckas 😠😠😠

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    FWIW, I have been listening to Lone Justice as a calming thing.

  39. 39
    Captain C says:

    @BBA: If we’re lucky, he’ll get nailed on state charges for something or other by then.


    Inmates were caught stealing underwear, so Arpaio had all jail underwear dyed pink in the belief that would end the black-market for briefs.

    I lived in Arizona at that time, and I have two memories of the pink underwear:

    1) Apparently the theft rate went up, as it became a badge of honor in some circles to abscond with a pair of Sheriff Joe’s pink underwear.

    2) When they first started issuing the pink underwear, I was working in a mall (Sam Goody’s) for the holiday season, and the Maricopa Sheriff’s department had a table there, selling the underwear. I think I saw Sheriff Joe’s corrupt goon/right hand Dave Hendershott there at least once. Hendershott, it must be remembered, was eventually forced out for being too brazenly corrupt for Arpaio’s hopelessly corrupt agency.

  40. 40
    Inventor says:


    Whether or not he serves a symbolic sentence of a few months in Club Fed is beside the point

    I fundamentally disagree with this. It is the whole point.

  41. 41
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I doubt if Trump realizes a pardon means Appiao is guilty of the crime but the US forgos punishing him? That means Appaio gets to spend the rest of of life legitimately being called “This convicted felon here,…”

  42. 42
    grammypat says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Texas Monthly had an informative article on colonias a while back: (because I’m “link-illiterate”). They basically line the border. I’ve seen them in TX and NM and assume they’re also in AZ and CA.

  43. 43
    SFAW says:


    he’s probably out of power for good.

    Elected office, perhaps.

    But, as a thought experiment: think of the (appointed) federal position which, having Arpaio there, would be the biggest “Fuck You!” to Democrats/liberals/Obama, and which doesn’t require confirmation by Congress. I don’t know which position that would be, but that’s where that evil fuck will end up, if Lying Littledick chooses.

    You probably think I’m kidding.

  44. 44
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    Maybe it’s alternate universe Jesus, like Spock with a beard.

    No it’s basically to save American Christianity, they decided to destroy it. In the 60’s Christians started leaving so a bunch of Pastors like Billy Gram decided they will bring them back by adopt sale techniques. The end result is the empty self justification moral wasteland of the Mega Churches you see today with everything purged from Christianity that might put off the white middle class target demographic.

  45. 45
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @SFAW: Again, then everyone can mock Trump for appointing a convicted felon to his administration.

  46. 46
    Mike J says:

    WaPo confirms Mnuchin eclipse viewing atop Ft Knox.

    Treasury secretary certainly is an Odd Job.

  47. 47

    @grammypat: Thanks! We have a lot of Central American and Mexican immigrants in Santa Fe.

    I was thinking earlier today about my grandfather, who came over from Germany when he was a child. He started a restaurant. Hamburgers were ten cents then. My father helped in the restaurant and then drove taxis, got better jobs including a beer salesman and then all the way up to a customer engineer for IBM, repairing typewriters and eventually his own business. Not a whole lot different from the career trajectories of today’s immigrants, although probably they have less upward mobility after the restaurant and taxi jobs.

  48. 48

    Another hurricane hazard.

    And with that, I’ll give the kittehs their late night snack and then go to bed.

  49. 49
    Quinerly says:

    OT…porch sitting, listening to Knopfler and some Dean Martin❤. Visited with my dr today (30 year friendship with him and his friend who has cut my hair since 1983). So Morton sez, “What’s up?” I sez, “Trump is taking a toll on me, don’t laugh, but….” Long story short, this is not an unusual convo with him, he says. He’s a primary care physician not necessarily “out” to all his patients….. .sees a lot of older patients conservative, Catholic, St. Louis county. His upper income, older patients in Mo suburbs are horrified by Trump. We spent most of my yearly tune up talking about this shit show. His husband is obsessed. Prints out a talking points list that greets Morton when he gets home. In other news, heart, blood pressure, etc look good. Poco had a great day at daycare. We soldier on….

  50. 50
    grammypat says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Most of the Hispanics I met in NM weren’t immigrants. Their families have been in the area for many generations. They like to say that they didn’t cross the border, the border crossed them!

  51. 51
    Quinerly says:

    My experience too. No expert but hanging out a lot in NM since 2011. Those green eyed Spanish dudes…..Santa Fe, Cerrillos, Chimayo, Chama area…To me, we have more immigrants of Mexican descent here in St. Louis. Know that not to be true but it’s so very different in NM.

  52. 52
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Jesus! I guess people who live near them are used to it, but if I looked out my window and saw some giant prehistoric monster chilling out in my driveway I’d freak out.

  53. 53
    J R in WV says:

    I’m not sure I have a big enough gun for a big alligator like those!

    Do you think a .45 would be enough?

  54. 54
    grammypat says:

    @Quinerly: Decades ago, when I lived in southern NM, the Anglo population was something like 20%. I’d venture that 90% of the (80% of) Hispanics in the area are indigenous. Spanish-speakers along the border are considered (by we melanin-deprived peoples) as *brown* Mexicans, while the English-speaking people are *red* Indians. I’ve never understood how such a distinction could be made when there is none.

  55. 55
    Raoul says:

    Trump pardoning that sonofabitch would seem to be a gift to Texas Dems who want to flip the state. 45 is really no tactician, is he? He’d happily damage the GOP brand for a generation or more with Hispanics just to get an atta boy from his 21% base of the base. Idiot.

  56. 56
    Millard Filmore says:

    With all the worry in that previous thread about civil war, here is another perspective from

    “… Anyhow, judging from the Shart’s inability to drag enough wrinkly old mediocrities out to fill a 5,000-capacity hall in Phoenix, and the pimply beta teens from the Charlottesville Klan Rally, I don’t know that the turnout for this particular civil war will wind up being especially fearsome. …”

    If you like strange music, here is a little Phillip Glass that I am relaxing to.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The very first commenter on that tweet wins the internets for today:

    Michael Goodwin @bumblsbounce
    Replying to @FBCSO and 2 others
    Ok, if you see an alligator that big on the street and you need to be told to leave it alone, maybe evolution isn’t for you.

  58. 58
    J R in WV says:

    More on topic, I had a brief but horrible experience with the Border Patrol a few years ago.

    They were all Hispanic, spoke only Spanish with one another, and chained me to a bench while they interrogated my foreman. I didn’t interrogate worth a Damm, but they let us go about 2 am after a county deputy wrote Joe a $600 ticket for his joint. A bad night in Texas for us!

    I’m not a bit surprised they intend to use the hurricane to sweep up all the illegal immigrants they can. Evil management and evil rules to use.

  59. 59
    Texasboyshaun says:

    @Millard Filmore: @Cheryl Rofer: @Raoul: From your lips to God’s ears, please.

  60. 60
    Fair Economist says:

    @Millard Filmore: I got to see Einstein at the Beach in LA. Quite a show. That youtube makes it clear how difficult much of the music is.

  61. 61
    Quinerly says:

    Gonna spend about 10 days this trip in Southern NM middle January. Carlsbad, La Cruces, and Silver City. Done Alamogordo, Cloudcroft, Ruidoso, Roswell, Clovis, Portales on a previous drive about. I know Northern NM better, but I’m learning.❤

  62. 62
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Texasboyshaun: I hope the body count of undocumented souls will be very low.

  63. 63
    Quinerly says:

    Meant to add..the Hispanic population that I have met in NM have been around longer than this green eyed chick of Irish descent has. My family goes back to about 1810 in the states. Now, my Cherokee side….a bit of another story.

  64. 64
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Fair Economist: The video shows the intense concentration required to do the piece. All the singers are tense, none of them are relaxing.

  65. 65
    Raoul says:

    @Millard Filmore: Ahhh, Einstein on the Beach. I have the original 4 LP box set, issued on Tomato Records. Should dust it off and play some of it some time.

    eta: Once one gets past the 123-123-123… part the next bit (movement? 2:06 on the video) is lovely.

  66. 66
    grammypat says:

    @Quinerly: If you could plan a trip for other than January, White Sands Missile Range opens for one day in April and again in October for access to Trinity site. It is a sobering experience. You can drive directly to it from the North gate, but need to “convoy” thru the live ammo range from the South gate.

    Check for artists’ days in Silver, I cherish a “found” material (basically junk) necklace that I picked up at one. I’ve gotten more complements for it than all of my other jewelry combined. Also check out the Ditch. A flood wiped out part of the town and in true “land of manana” style, they left it be.

    North of town into the Gila, go to the Cliff Dwellings. And get a hot springs soak while you’re at it. (Also available in Truth or Consequences … “T or C” to those in the know). The road from Pinos Altos to the Dwellings and then back east thru Mimbres can only be described a special. I highly recommend.

    BTW, nothing compares to gen-u-wine Hatch chiles, bring back as many as you can carry (harvest is in Aug/Sept but frozen or in jars is cheap compared to anywhere else). Around this time of year, the aroma of roasting chiles is everywhere and heavenly.

  67. 67
    SWMBO says:

    @J R in WV: There was a gator that ripped through the screen on a sun porch here many years ago. The owner of the house shot at it with a 22 and it bounced off the hide and ricocheted around. If I positively absolutely had to shoot at one, I think I’d go with a cannon. And from a distance.

  68. 68


    45 is really no tactician, is he?

    You are STILL giving him too much credit. Trump does not do things to shore up his base. He does them out of spite, or because he is a seriously hardcore racist himself, or sometimes to hear applause – which is a visceral, immediate satisfaction unlike political calculus of poll numbers. Usually those three things all argue for the same result, and you may notice it outweighs ‘General Kelly will yell at me.’

  69. 69
    Brachiator says:

    “A pardon of Joe Arpaio is only good if he pardons the 11 million who are here, if he shows the same grace,” said Daniel Garza, the executive director of the Koch brothers-led LIBRE Initiative. “I don’t think he deserves it, this guy violated the law to violate the rights of individuals.”

    Looks like the Koch brothers are going to have to buy themselves another, more compliant group of Latinos.

  70. 70
    sherparick says:

    @tobie: Because Texas has moved in the last 30 years of Conservative Christianist Republican rule to oligarchy who despises the poor and working class. It needs to be remembered that most Hispanics in the Rio Grande valley have family roots going back 200 years and that this is territory the United States conquered from Mexico. Texas has designed its political system to be a “faux” democracy. Only 26% of the voting age population voted in the last mid-term. Only 44% voted in the last general election. The old Democratic Party in Texas, a party of Conservatives and White Supremacy for most of the time since the Civil War, was basically folded into the Republican Party of Texas by Karl Rove and Matthew Dowd during George W. Bush’s governorship, and turned Texas into a 1-party state once again. It has two sides, the business community which basically wants no taxes and to be free to do what it will in pursuit of profit and the Christianist Wing who want to impose John Calvin’s Geneva system on the State, particularly in regard to women’s rights and reproduction. And when the shit hits the fan, between drought and high water, they expect the rest of the country to bail them out.

    Assholes. Assholes all.

  71. 71
    SFAW says:

    @J R in WV:

    Do you think a .45 would be enough?

    Best not try to find out

  72. 72
    Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman) says:

    @J R in WV:

    I’m not sure I have a big enough gun for a big alligator like those!

    Do you think a .45 would be enough?

    A Ruger or other stout.45 Colt revolver with a hot load?

    A Government Model .45 ACP?
    Not a chance.

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