Is Sheriff David Clarke nuts?
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Usually, around the time an elected official starts talking about another elected official’s dick, local politics can be properly described as “surreal.” That moment arrived this week in the form of an accusation that County Executive Chris Abele is suffering from “penis envy.” And it came from the most obvious source: Sheriff David “911 is a joke” Clarke.
The past few months have been a wild time for the cowboy-hat-and-sunglasses-wearing Clarke, whose crush on his own voice and face has clearly gotten serious. (What was Valentine’s Day like for him?) While Clarke has spent most of his public life practically grabbing reporters and journalists while saying “LOOKATMELOOKATME,” he seems to have finally found some national traction after his recent appearance on Fox & Friends. During that appearance, there seems to have been a pinpointable moment when the fame bug re-bit him. (Shades of Ralph Wiggum’s breaking heart.) After that, Clarke decided to take the bug by its neck and strangle the life out of it.
While Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has used his recently elevated national profile to reasonably discuss gun control and yell at Lindsey Graham, David Clarke has used it to prove that he is possibly insane. Here are a few of his steps along the road to madness:
• Perhaps the clearest proof of insanity comes in the form of Clarke’s own words, which can be heard in the now infamous, Rambo-mentality-and-taxpayer-funded PSA that urges you to “fight back,” because he “needs you in the game.”
• On the TV show of a fellow crazy person, Alex “9/11 was an inside job and the government is poisoning us and I want to take Piers Morgan in a boxing match and Mayor Bloomberg is trying to kill me” Jones, Clarke swore a second American Revolution is coming because of the gun debate.
• From Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett: “Apparently Sheriff David Clarke is auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie.”
• Woman’s excuse for firing a gun while intoxicated? Because Sheriff Clarke said it was okay.
• Clarke chided Tom Barrett for not having a gun when he was nearly beaten to death while defending a woman at State Fair Park. “I’m sure that if you had a gun and a plan that day, the outcome would have been a little different.” Clearly, everyone should prepare a “plan” when they go to the State Fair, in case they end up having to defend a stranger’s life.
• “I’m the top law-enforcement agency in Milwaukee. We are a full-fledged law-enforcement agency,” Clarke said. “We respond to anything.” Well, not really. From Tom Barrett: “The 911 calls from homes in the city of Milwaukee are responded to by the Milwaukee Police Department.” And from Urban Milwaukee: “In 2009, the sheriff reported only 19 crimes to the FBI, compared to 41,375 for the Milwaukee police, 3,288 for West Allis police, 1,908 for Wauwatosa, and even 242 for the UW-Milwaukee police. That’s right, the UWM campus police handled 12 times more criminals than the Sheriff’s Department.”
• Piers Morgan opined that Clarke seems to forget that this is 2013; he accused the sheriff of creating “a return to the Wild West in Milwaukee.” Referring to Clarke’s PSA, Morgan also asked how talking in “deep tones” that make him “sound terribly exciting and dramatic” serves any “sensible, rational purpose.” Not skipping a beat or a chance to elucidate, Clarke defiantly assured Morgan, “this is the way I talk.”