The right-wing flying monkeys have been out in force in pursuit of Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik ever since he spoke an important truth last week, in the wake of the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 20 others, in calling out irresponsible, vitriolic right-wing talkers for creating the kind of political and cultural environment in Arizona where hateful violent acts are encouraged. One of the leaders in the "Get Dupnik" crowd, in fact, has been Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.
So now, encouraged by all the attention they're getting from Fox, the local Tea Partiers in Tucson are trying to get Dupnik recalled:
A group opposed to illegal immigration has begun an effort to recall the sheriff in a special election. Meanwhile, a Pima County tea party group is planning on holding a "Dump Dupnik" rally next week outside his office.
"I haven't been a fan of Dupnik's for a long time, but this really was the straw that broke the camel's back," said Tom Rompel, co-owner of Black Weapons Armory in Tucson. "He's law enforcement. We expect 'the facts, ma'am,' not his opinion. He leans far left, always has, and frankly, people have had enough."
You've gotta love how people who are big fans of Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- the state's most outspoken bigot -- hate when Clarence Dupnik expresses an opinion or two, eh?
Conservatives have bristled at Sheriff Dupnik's insinuation that Republicans and the tea party movement were somehow responsible for the rampage. The Pima County Tea Party Patriots plan to "indict" the sheriff at their rally for "politicizing the shootings, blaming free speech for the crime without evidence, failing to protect Giffords, failing to recuse himself from the investigation, and embarrassing the community in front of the nation," according to the Arizona Daily Star.
Sheriff Dupnik's office issued a statement Wednesday saying he would have no further comment on the shooting.
Dan Baltes, executive director of Americans Against Immigration Amnesty, said he began looking into the recall effort after being deluged by phone calls and e-mails from the group's members, including many in Arizona. The eight-month-old organization is based in Salt Lake City in neighboring Utah.
"I've gotten e-mails from people who support the sheriff, who support what he did, and who want me to keep my nose out of it," Mr. Baltes said. "But for every one of those, I'm getting 50 saying 'Thank you,' and that's from Republicans and Democrats alike."
The group needs to gather 90,809 valid signatures within 120 days to qualify the recall for the ballot. The recall would require a special election, which could be held at the earliest in March 2012, said Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson.
You can imagine our surprise (or rather the complete lack thereof), then, when O'Reilly devoted a segment to promoting this effort. And guess who he brings on to attack Dupnik for his "divisive" rhetoric? Why, none other than that Nazi-coddling nativist state Senate president and noted Friend of Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce:
PEARCE: He has inserted himself -- not only did he inflame the issue with calling his constituents and the citizens of the state of Arizona racists and bigots because they want the laws enforced and border secured. He ignores the fact that Rob Chris was murdered on the border during a debate of 1070. He ignores the fact that Brian Terry was just murdered on the border as a border patrol agent and 12 Phoenix police officers killed and I can go on and on and on.
It's outrageous that he would accuse us of being racist and bigots because we want our laws enforced.
But in addition to that -- in addition to that he has refused to enforce Senate Bill 1070. That's a violation of his oath of office.
See, it's actually Dupnik's open dismissal of SB1070 that really sticks in Pearce's craw -- especially since Pearce was its chief architect. Now that he's out promoting the effort to strip Latino immigrants' children of their birthright citizenship, guys like Dupnik continue to make him look bad.
But then, Pearce and O'Reilly don't need Clarence Dupnik around to look bad. They do that all by themselves.