Dan Bice's story in the Journal Sentinel on August 8th about the outrageous behavior in office of Tea Party Talk Radio (TPTR) sheriff David Clarke generated an interesting response from Clarke's usual friendly mouthpieces on local wing-nut radio.
Apparently, the word went out on the GOP talking points regularly distributed to Belling, Sykes, et al, that there was no defense to Clarke's disturbing meeting with one of his employees who happened to be an officer in the deputies union and that they should just ignore the article. Even bottom-feeders of the free Republican advertising outlet known as "talk-radio", such as Jay Weber and Vicki McKenna, who usually have a direct hot-line to the sheriff any time he wants to promote himself or his phony campaign as a Democrat, kept away from discussing Clarke's profane, boorish and -- in terms of labor relations -- probably illegal behavior. The Silence Edict from whoever feeds these people their unoriginal lines was certainly in effect the first couple days after the story was published and, as far as I know (I can only listen to so much of this crap), they still haven't said anything about it.
And, as is the case with too many of their campaigns and strategies, it worked. Bice's story about the worst personal behavior ever alleged against an elected in Milwaukee County should have been a bombshell, but quickly drifted into the background noise of the gratefully forgotten. Even the outrageous assertion by Clarke stooge Edward Baily, who was present during the tirade, that "the sheriff makes the policies [prohibiting discourteousness]; he's not subject to them" couldn't get the increasingly wimpy Journal Sentinel editorial board off its ass to express the slightest dismay.
Chalk up another victory in the relentless talk-radio campaign to promote and protect Tea Party Republicans in an election year; even if, like Clarke, they falsify their nomination papers by claiming to be a Democrat. The use of Republican talk-radio to frame and ignore the issues on a 24/7 basis is the biggest obstacle Wisconsin faces to clean elections and good government.
UPDATE: It is interesting to hear the response of the Clarke campaign operative -- he knows who he is and so do I -- pitifully hiding behind the Anonymous label to try to change the issue in the comments below. For all the phony tough-guy posturing of his boss, you'd think he'd have more balls and be a little more forthcoming.
And the issue he tries to change to is whether Clarke's primary challenger, Chris Moews -- who is just as qualified as Clarke was before he hitched his political career to the right-wing star -- is really a Democrat because a board he was on endorsed McCain. Even if Moews did cast his vote for such an endorsement, it doesn't make him less of a Democrat - lots of Democrats voted for McCain; a lot more Republicans voted for Obama without losing their overall affiliation.
This phony "issue" is a cheap dodge to avoid dealing with Clarke's cynical political ploy to be listed as a Democrat on the ballot because that's the only kind of candidates that get elected in partisan county-wide races in Milwaukee. The fact is that Clarke's very filing of nomination papers as a fraud and a lie designed to get him elected to a position to which he couldn't possibly get elected if his nut-right tea party Republican affiliations were more well-known.
Also laughable is the campaign stooge's claim in the comments that "Clarke DID respond to the Bice story." Clarke's press release -- put out on Office of the Sheriff, not campaign, letterhead -- was a classic non-denial denial. Most of the tripe in the release is an attack on the deputy that was subjected to Clarke's two-hour temper tantrum as a "political operative". He vaguely states that the meeting was "misrepresented" and that the meeting was "very different", but tellingly does not deny the essentials. In fact, he pretty much confirms his contempt for anyone not named David Clarke by claiming the sole mantle of people-protection; saying he "will aggressively put that responsibility above all others", including, we can assume, the labor contract he is bound to, commmon decency and the law.
What is entirely clear in this entire episode is that David Clarke is an arrogant menace with a badge, which is a bad combination. Who the hell does David Clarke think he is?