Slouching Towards Tampa (Joementum edition)

Rick Perry recently proved again why he shouldn’t be trusted with any elected office, let alone the presidency. He named Sheriff Joe Arpaio chairman of his campaign in Arizona. Of course, by the time the Arizona primary rolls around on February 28, Perry’s candidacy is apt to be a distant memory. Don’t worry about Joe, though. He’ll still have plenty to keep him busy.

Back in September, notorious swift boat dirtbag and WorldNutDaily columnist Jerome Corsi announced that Arpaio had assembled a “Cold Case Posse” to determine whether President Obama’s birth certificate is legitimate. Curious about the posse’s progress, I recently waded through the sewer that is the Corsi archives.

In a lengthy piece from December, Corsi reports that the posse will issue a preliminary report in February, with a “comprehensive” report to follow shortly after.

“This is a serious law enforcement investigation, and our findings are going to be controversial but based in facts,” the Maricopa County sheriff told WND…

Arpaio confirmed that the Obama investigation has broadened beyond an examination of whether or not the birth certificate made public by the White House on April 27 is an authentic document. The probe, he said, is examining Obama’s history in regard to his eligibility to be president under Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

Corsi goes on to claim that Arpaio’s investigation has resulted in death threats from murderous Obama supporters:

“I plan to kill Joe Arpaio first,” read one particularly ominous death threat. “He will be filled with a thousand bullet holes before the year is out. I promise you this – Arpaio won’t **** with Obama.”

Well, that certainly sounds just like something a typical Obama supporter would say, doesn’t it?

“The threats regarding the Obama investigation may set a new standard for partisanship, but they are nothing new,” [Maricopa County Deputy Chief David] Trombi said. “Four separate Mexican drug cartels have placed bounties totaling $4 million on his head. That’s about as serious as you can get, and the sheriff has had to live with this for years.”

Mexican drug cartels. Obama supporters. Really, who can tell the difference these days? Despite the danger, Arpaio assures Corsi and the rest of the nation that he will soldier on:

“We are a major law enforcement agency – one of the largest in the nation – and we have at our disposal investigative tools not generally available, even to the top private investigator in the country. We don’t plan to stop until we discover the truth.”

But he had better hurry. In December, the DOJ released the results of its three-year investigation into Arpaio’s fiefdom, concluding that it:

… has committed a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints…

The civil rights report said federal authorities will continue to investigate complaints of deputies using excessive force against Latinos, whether the sheriff’s office failed to provide adequately police services in Hispanic communities and a large number of sex-crimes cases that were assigned to the agency but weren’t followed up on or investigated at all.

Gosh, that doesn’t sound too good for Sheriff Joe. Neither does this:

Apart from the civil rights probe, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio’s office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff’s anti-public corruption squad.

Neither do the 2,700 lawsuits filed against him from 2004 to 2007 alone, nor a finding last spring that his office had misused over $99 million in restricted funds over a five-year period.

Yikes! But Rick Perry ain’t about to let civil rights violations, racial profiling, discrimination, excessive force, abuse of power, misuse of funds, et cetera, stand between him and the hombre he wants for his Arizona campaign chair. And for good measure, Perry also used the Arpaio announcement to indulge in some unintentional ten-gallon hilarity:

“As my campaign for president moves forward, our superior organization and resources allow me to compete nationwide,” Perry said in a statement.

That would be the same “superior organization and resources” that failed to get Perry’s name on the Virginia primary ballot, an embarrassment that forced him to go hunting for one of those activist judges he so despises, an expedition that ended in tears for Perry this afternoon. Perry’s also still hunting for that elusive third federal department he wants to shut down:

Perry flubbed his three departments once again, NBC’s Carrie Dann reports. During a radio interview this morning, he was asked which federal departments he would shut down. Perry listed: “Three right off the bat: Commerce, Interior, and Energy are the three that you think of.” Problem: Those are NOT the three he had previously not been able to name. He swapped Interior for Education. He has not previously said he would eliminate Interior. The radio host later followed up and asked Perry if he would eliminate Education, and Perry responded with a harsh critique of federal education standards. A Perry spokesman’s spin to reporters later: “Every agency is on the chopping block” and that all departments would be scrubbed and evaluated. “It shouldn’t be surprising that the governor is talking about another agency that needs to be looked at and cut,” spokesman Mark Miner said.

Quite so, Mr. Miner! At this point, nothing Perry says about anything should be surprising to anybody.