The Corner

The Dishonorable Sheriff

Evidently, some people just can’t help themselves. When a tragedy happens or a crime is committed, they can’t resist the temptation to blame their political opponents. By exploiting a tragedy for partisan advantage, they cover themselves with dishonor.

Exhibit A: Pima County, Arizona, sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

His appearance and manner are avuncular, but his preachments are toxic.

I just watched this 50-year-veteran law-enforcement official claim in a televised interview with Megyn Kelly that the horrific murders committed by a disturbed young man (one described by former classmates as a pot-smoking left-wing rocker) had something to do with an “atmosphere” created when “one party is trying to do something to make this country a better country and the other party is trying to block them.” The party trying to “do something to make the country better” is, of course, the Democrats. The party trying to “block them” is the Republicans.

Have you ever in your life encountered such transparent hypocrisy? Dupnik claims to be condemning rhetoric that demonizes political opponents even as he exploits the Arizona killings to demonize his political opponents — those evil Republicans who are trying to stop the noble Democrats from “doing something to make the country better.”

Is it possible that Sheriff Dupnik is actually blind to his own hypocrisy? Or does he have so little respect for the intelligence of his fellow citizens that he imagines they won’t notice it?

— Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University.

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