October 17, 2016

For The Record

It struck us as a curious choice when the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association honored Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke as its Person of the Year Sept. 1, given his incendiary remarks about President Obama, including calling him a “race-hustler” a week earlier and prior to that, “the cop-hating Commander-in-Chief.”

A union spokesman, asked at the time about such statements, replied, “He’s not being honored for his political beliefs,” which included his endorsement of Donald Trump during the Republican National Convention as “the steadfast leader our nation needs.” Rather, he said, it was Sheriff Clarke’s vigorous defense of police officers as they came under fire for a series of controversial shootings that made him worthy of the honor in the PBA’s eyes.

That decision came back to bite the union over the weekend when Sheriff Clarke, who became a kind of hero among the Trump crowd as an outspoken black critic of both Mr. Obama and the movement he refers to as “Black Lies Matter,” upped his rhetorical ante a couple of notches with this tweet: “It is incredible that our institutions of gov. WH, Congress, DOJ and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time.”

A man named Mikel Jolett responded, “This is actually illegal. This man should be dismissed from office.” When a Trump supporter tweeted back in defense of Sheriff Clarke, claiming he was just using a figure of speech, Mr. Jolett retorted, “This is literally a call for violence.”

Another critic of the sentiments expressed by the Sheriff, Paul Vale, tweeted, “A man elected to maintain law and order calls for mob violence and insurrection. ‘O say can you see…’”

The PBA spokesman did not get back to us by press-time with a reaction to Sheriff Clarke’s latest eruption.

Speaking of people with law-and-order reputations who have dived off the deep end lately, Rudy Giuliani said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Oct. 16 that he “would have to be a moron to say” that presidential voting in cities including “Philadelphia and Chicago is going to be fair.”

“I’ve found very few situations where Republicans cheat,” our former Mayor said, apparently not counting the growing number of states over the past decade where top GOP officials have restricted voting in ways that courts in some cases have already ruled were designed to make it more difficult for blacks to cast ballots.

“They don’t control the inner cities the way Democrats do,” Rudy ranted on. “I can’t sit here and tell you that they don’t cheat, and I know because they control the polling places in those areas.”