Mean ol' Sheriff Joe Arpaio, still too decrepit and cowardly to set foot in Mesa.

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Tears of a clown? Joe's afraid of the big, bad Mesa police chief.

So I return from my brief respite from the sad insanity of Maricopa County to see that mean ol' Sheriff Joe's still so scared of Mesa Police Chief George Gascon that our cowardly top constable won't even step foot in his city!

I mean, Joe makes a big stink about going back into Mesa after his disastrous June sweep of that burg, but he sets up his mobile command center in a county island between Tempe and Mesa? Why do that when there's a perfectly good substation in Mesa from which to coordinate this wannabe-tough-guy dragnet of restaurant workers, house cleaners, and construction laborers going to or from their jobs? After all, if you're gonna use 100 deputies and old posse farts to hunt down undocumented folk instead of real criminals, you might at least save a little scrilla by using the facilities you already have, instead of parking your paddy wagons out in BFE.

I guess you could argue that maybe the MCSO wanted to operate in secret, save for the fact that Joe told the press where he would be at 5 p.m. for his press conference where he kvetched like some old drag queen about all of his high-profile critics, "thanking" everyone from Mayor Phil Gordon to Governor Janet Napolitano for unmanning him. The bitter, bitchy sarcasm flowed so freely from Joe's haggard lips, I half-expected to see Arpaio in pantyhose when the camera pulled back for a long shot.

“Thank you, demonstrators, for calling me Hitler and Nazi. Thank you," Mr. Pitiful angrily told the press.

Hey, no problemo, jefe. Especially when the jackboot fits.

Actually, I wouldn't say that's a sound comparison, because at least Adolf had balls, or, uh, one ball. Can't say that about some wrinkled old cow flailing his arms about and haranguing his critics when he doesn't even have the gonads anymore to set foot in enemy territory. Unless this is supposed to be Joe's personal remake of the German film Downfall.

Joe's a bully, plain and simple. He's great when it comes to intimidating otherwise law-abiding people over their residency status. (Sorry, haters, being "illegally present" is not a crime; crossing the border illegally is a federal offense, a misdemeanor. Still, prosecutors have to prove it in court, ducky.) But when it comes to dealing with drug-runners, murderers, rapists, et al., he's a piker, a pusillanimous polecat inching towards total dementia.

Hard to believe people actually used to respect this guy. By the time it's all over, everyone's gonna hate his ass. Wagging his finger at the camera, Joe warned people who in many cases have risked their lives to be here and support their families, "Get away from here and go back where you came from."

Sure, some people get off on this, but I think the backlash is as palpable as the waste of the taxpayers' money. Keep it up, Joe. People are growing weary of your geriatric, wannabe-John Wayne B.S. It's time for you to go. And I think even somewhere deep in the recesses of your age-hardened cerebellum, you're beginning to realize it.


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