Arpaio: May 2, 2018

Dear Mr. VP,

I just spent several minutes reading an article about Joe Arpaio, and now I’m finding ways to bleach my brain. As this entire letter will be about Arpaio, I’m going to throw a playlist in here too, one that will give me a chance to pause and un-Arpaio between each paragraph. That’s the only way I’m going to get through.


As you know, Joe Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt. He defied a court order that instructed him to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants. Of course, a “suspected undocumented immigrant” is anyone who doesn’t look white or has a last name ending in -z. I would be a “suspected undocumented immigrant” the second someone saw my last name, though I’d have the protection of being white and therefore it is less likely I’d be stopped and asked to immediately produce ID.



Trump pardoned Arpaio almost immediately, because white supremacist bros before laws-os, right? Now, Arpaio is running for Senate. He’s doing a fun thing on the campaign trail where he’s still talking about Obama’s birth certificate, as if this has anything to do with current issues in the United States. What’s he going to do, become a Senator and prove Obama is a Kenyan and then somehow erase all eight years of Obama’s presidency? How is this still something we’re talking about? It’s like when I argue with my four-year-old and he digs in and brings up something I said six months ago as if it’s still relevant.


Of course, Arpaio was in the news waaaaaay before he was convicted. Because he was running a concentration camp. Look at that link. He called it a concentration camp before I did. Those are his own words. Someone in the audience asks when he’s going to start putting “illegal” immigrants in concentration camps. “I already have a concentration camp,” says Arpaio. Not even the Nazis copped to having concentration camps. 

In order to hide the killing operation as much as possible from the uninitiated, Hitler ordered that the killings not be spoken of directly in German documentation or in public statements. Instead, the Germans used codenames and neutral-sounding terms for the killing process. In Nazi parlance, for example, “action” (Aktion) referred to a violent operation against Jewish (or other) civilians by German security forces; “resettlement to the East” (Umsiedlung nach dem Osten) referred to the forced deportation of Jewish civilians to killing centers in German-occupied Poland; and “special treatment” (Sonderbehandlung) meant killing.

Arpaio stands in front of a crowd and talks about it proudly.


Arpaio is speaking about Tent City. Inmates lived in tents, in extreme temperatures (sometimes up to 120 degrees), with unreliable access to water. Undocumented immigrants were segregated. Cooking shows were broadcast in the cafeteria while inmates ate slop. Female inmates didn’t have access to sanitary products. There were chain gangs. It was shut down by the guy who beat you in the 2016 election.



Anyway, as previously noted, Arpaio is like an 85-year-old cockroach who won’t stay gone. Trump pardoned him. He’s running for Senate.



Here are some fun Joe Arpaio quotes:

“I am the constitutionally and legitimately elected sheriff, and I absolutely refuse to surrender my responsibility to the federal government.” (That’s clearly a shout out to all the sovereign citizen assholes who cream over the Posse Comitatus Act and claim the federal government doesn’t have authority over them. I’m sure they’ll all be tossing their votes to Arpaio, should they deign to vote in a federal election, which I suppose is a toss-up.)

“I needed a place to put the dogs. The prisoners ruined the jail, so I put the prisoners in the tents and I had a nice place to put the dogs. We treat the cats nice too, and horses. I have the inmates take care of the animals. It’s therapy too, you see.”

“Everything I did in the jails – chain gangs, everything – I haven’t changed the policy. I did it, I stand by it, and I’m not going to change.”


Oh, right, and also once he arrested a 6-year-old. How pro-family!


So naturally, given all that, you got up in front of a crowd of people in Arizona and praised Arpaio, calling the man convicted of criminal contempt, that is, directly disobeying the orders of a court, “A great friend of the president, a tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law.”

Yes, the man who was convicted of criminal contempt is “a tireless champion of…the rule of law.”

You are out of your mind.

So here’s some ultimate brain bleaching for maximum impact.



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