We know that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is capable of being motivated by spite. In 2009, Arpaio gloated that “after they went after me, we arrested 500 more [people] just for spite.” When he was asked about it in 2012, Arpaio only doubled down: “It was wrong,” he said. “It wasn’t 500. It was thousands.”
Arpaio is currently suing President Obama over executive action — despite being in very deep trouble with the law himself — and there’s some indication that Arpaio’s whole lawsuit was filed out of spite. It was a Department of Justice racial profiling investigation, then lawsuit, that led to Arpaio and his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office being found guilty of ““engag[ing] in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing.” As a result of a court ruling — and Arpaio’s repeated refusal to cooperate with it — Arpaio and his deputies are being subjected to a court-appointed monitor, they’ve have been hauled back into court multiple times, and Arpaio himself is now in danger of being in contempt of court.
So when Alan Colmes hosted Arpaio on his radio show last month and asked Arpaio why he was filing the suit against Obama, Arpaio’s answer more than anything reflected his spite. Here’s the encounter:
COLMES: “There’s talk of impeachment, there’s talk of shutting down the government, we’ve got a Congress who’s saying we’re not going to work with [Obama] on anything, you’re suing him. Reagan wasn’t sued.”
ARPAIO: “Everybody sues me…I can sue them.”
Watch the clip here (starts around 3:50):