Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Double Standards

Rush Limbaugh and the right wingers are all over Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for having the temerity to express an opinion about the causes of the shootings in Tucson last weekend.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik thrust himself into the spotlight in the aftermath of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 other people in Arizona on Saturday, decrying the heated political atmosphere and calling for more civility.

“It’s not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included,” he said on Saturday. “That’s the sad thing about what’s going on in America: pretty soon we’re not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.”

Dupnik immediately angered some on the right, who took his words to be directed at the tea party and conservatives, as well as Arizonans who took offense to his depiction of Arizona as “a mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said he didn’t think the sheriff’s words “had any part in a law enforcement briefing.” Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said he was “disappointed” in the sheriff. Conservative talk show host Neal Boortz said Dupnik was looking for political gain, and Fox News anchor — in an interview with the sheriff — wondered aloud why he would “inject political speculation” into the story.

Sheriff Dupnik seems unimpressed by the wingers’ whining, as well he should be. And as John Cole points out, the right-wingers don’t get upset when Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio injects himself into the political debate.

[W]hen liberals get up in arms about Arpaio, it is because they are disagreeing with him. Conservatives disagree with the Dupnik non-partisan remarks, obviously, but what is different is that they don’t think he should even be allowed to make them.

Of course not. That would violate the rules of conduct for public officials: you can say anything as long as it is right-wing approved: IOKIYAR. If not, all bets are off.