MICHAEL RUSSELL

Opinion: Trump pardon doesn’t give Arpaio the legacy he wants

Aug 28, 2017, 3:49 PM | Updated: Aug 29, 2017, 11:27 am
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)...
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)

Let it never be said that, when it comes to payback, President Donald Trump is not a man of his word or, in this case, a man of his hint.

He alluded to pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during his campaign rally in Phoenix last week. He said he did not want to pardon him during his campaign rally because he “didn’t want any controversy.”

So when did we get the news about Arpaio? Once again, the president — being a man of his word — included the pardon in the Friday afternoon dump.

For those non-politicos out there, the Friday afternoon dump is what administrations use to release information that usually won’t be very popular or paint their administration in a positive light.

Why? Almost any negative story will be buried in the weekend news cycle and forgotten about by Monday.

Shady, I know, but it’s been a time-honored tradition with each administration since the dawn of cable news.

But regardless of timing, Arpaio was cleared of all charges. Both sides won.

You read that right: Both sides won.

For those that support Arpaio and everything he’s done, your superhero has been set free.

Many of you claimed his good deeds — such as immigration sweeps and Tent City — were enough to keep him above the law in this case.

Please keep in mind that Arpaio was not on his way to jail for his stance on immigration or for his treatment of inmates. He was on his way to jail for willfully, defiantly and publicly ignoring a federal court order.

Here’s a pro tip: If you willfully, defiantly and publicly ignore a federal court order, that’s a one-way ticket to jail.

That is unless you’ve campaigned for a candidate that becomes the president of the United States and you can be used as a pawn in a re-election bid.

For those on the other side that consider Arpaio a racist cancer in Arizona, you won, too.

I know that you all wanted to see Arpaio in a black-and-white-striped suit hanging out in Tent City as an inmate and you will not get that satisfaction. I know that’s frustrating to you.

But here’s where the win is: Arpaio goes away.

I can’t think of a better punishment for a man with an ego his size than to drift off into obscurity after decades of shining a spotlight on himself.

When he drifts off into obscurity, that saves us all time, headaches, frustration and, most importantly, money.

Rest assured, Arpaio was planning on appealing again and again, which just rings up more of a tab for us taxpayers.

History will remember Arpaio for four things: media hype, immigration sweeps, Tent City and a federal conviction that had to be saved by a standing president.

Not exactly the legacy he was aiming for.

Michael Russell

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Opinion: Trump pardon doesn’t give Arpaio the legacy he wants