Arizona Lawman Acting Stupidly, Obama Silent

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik ascribed blame in a murder case to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh - thereby labeling him an accomplice - while conceding he has no proof. At a press conference in the summer of 2009, President Barack Obama admitted to not having all the facts about an incident involving his friend Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge Police. He then proceeded to declare that the Police "acted stupidly" anyway.

Gates was belligerent with his arresting officer Sgt. James Crowley, called him a "racist" and then demanded an apology. Crowley refused to issue one. Sheriff Dupnik last April publicly stated he would order his deputies not to enforce Arizona S.B. 1070 because it is a "racist" law. After the Safeway massacre, he proclaimed his own state a "Mecca for racism and bigotry" without having any facts.

The incident involving Gates and Crowley became a public relations nightmare for the Obama administration as the days went by. The remedy decided upon was to conceal defeat in the form of a perceived truce between Crowley and Gates at the infamous White House Beer Summit. In reality, it was an attempt to stop the bleeding (metaphor intended). Crowley was being vindicated by the minute while Obama and Gates looked increasingly foolish and angry.

If Obama was able to assert that the Cambridge Police "acted stupidly" without having all of the facts, why won't he assert that the head of the Pima County Police is acting stupidly when the facts support such a conclusion? As a lawman, it's Dupnik's job to avoid drawing conclusions relative to the motives of a suspected killer, let alone doing so publicly or while the investigation is still ongoing.

Therefore, he is not only acting stupidly but he may even be tampering with an investigation.

If ever Obama was justified in singling out a police officer for acting stupidly, it's in the case of Sheriff Dupnik. Yet, he remains silent on the issue; he even called Dupnik to thank him for his efforts after the Sheriff made the unsubstantiated charges. What should we infer from the fact that Dupnik's extremely irresponsible words seem to be falling on deaf presidential ears?

Is Obama giving tacit approval to Dupnik's words by ignoring them? After all, the Sheriff appears to be masterfully implementing one of the rules of Obama's mentor Saul Alinsky; in Limbaugh, Dupnik is picking his target, freezing it, polarizing it, and certainly personalizing it. Does tacit approval also come with a hidden smile and a word of encouragement during a phone call?

The president told us last year that he is not an ideologue. The facts don't support that in several examples but especially so when comparing the treatment received by Sgt. Crowley with the non-treatment received by Sheriff Dupnik.

Ben Barrack is a talk show host on KTEM 1400 in Texas and maintains a website at