Conservative Media’s Latest Ill-Advised Hero Is Sheriff Who Warned of Second American Revolution
While Fox has been praising parts of Clarke’s address, they haven’t mentioned his warning to NRA members during the same speech that, “If you’re going to stand with me, you have to be willing to resist any attempt by government to disarm law-abiding people by fighting with the ferociousness of a junkyard dog. For it says in the Declaration of Independence that it is our right, it is our duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for our future security.”
Also unmentioned by Fox is Clarke’s close with relationship with Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), a hard-right group that ascribes to the fringe Posse Comitatus philosophy that dates back to post-Reconstruction efforts by southern states to avoid oversight by the federal government. The central tenet of Posse Comitatus is the belief that the county sheriff is the ultimate legal authority in the United States.
In 2013, CSPOA recognized Clarke as sheriff of the year, a distinction Clarke said he was “both honored and humbled to receive.” After Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article scrutinizing the group behind the award, Clarke said that the paper disparaged CSPOA, “a group of honorable Sheriffs and officers who vow to uphold their oath of defending the U.S. Constitution,” and had published a “hit piece” on CSPOA leader Richard Mack. For his part, Mack has praised Clarke as “a modern-day hero.”