CUBO is an acronym for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer. It seems that everywhere you look concerning Sheriff Joe, you find troubling conduct. As Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic, writes:
Birtherism Is the Least of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Sins
National Review has published an editorial urging everyone to disassociate themselves with Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County sheriff who is questioning whether President Obama is a real American. “Republicans who have chosen to associate with the birthers have done their party and their country a disservice,” the magazine wrote. “And as Sheriff Arpaio settles comfortably into that political mental ward, the same must be said of those Republicans who choose to associate themselves with him more broadly. Those who cannot distinguish between the birthers’ flim-flam and the critical questions that face our nation in 2012 will not win and do not deserve to.”
They’re absolutely right. Birthers beclown themselves. The conservative movement is well-served by repudiating them. So kudos on a good editorial. But part of me is bothered that Arpaio’s words about a silly conspiracy theory are what has discredited him, given his long history of misdeeds. It’s a reminder that bipartisan political culture elevates relatively meaningless controversy while alarming transgressions against civil liberties and the rule of law are ignored. Now that prominent intellectuals in the conservative movement acknowledge Arpaio’s poor judgment, capacity for shoddy logic, and blinkered moral compass, it’s worth looking back on all that he was able to do before conservatives and right-leaning moderates turned on him.
Conor goes on to recant a long lost of Arpaio’s misdeeds and ends with this:
I could go on, but is it really necessary? . . . It’s good that his birtherism is being rejected, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t even make the top ten list of his most egregious behavior.
Rather, it marks the moment when Arpaio became a political liability – the American public, left, right, and center, is more inclined to pay attention to birtherism than abuse of power by police or the sexual assault of inmates or sheriffs departments where Mexicans are denigrated in emails written by deputies. Doubting the place of Obama’s birth is loony. It’s the other stuff that’s outrageous. Until we recalibrate what we regard as most discrediting, we’ll continue to be complicit in a government run system where charges of the public are routinely raped and abused.
Maybe if we could get Donald Trump to talk about that…
This was a really great and interesting piece and I urge you to read the whole thing:
This is also something I have been saying for a long time, that the whole Birtherism issue is silly and a distraction. Unfortunately, since the Birthers have also set their sights on Mark Rubio and Bobby Jindal, and have the Intertubz available for a virtual Echo Chamber, it will probably be around for a while.
Note 1. CUBO. this is a term used primarily in military courts, but also for civilian police forces. Wiki says:
Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman (or conduct unbecoming for short) is an offense subject to court martial defined in the punitive code, Article 133, of the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), enacted at 10 U.S.C. § 933.
Here “officer” is understood to include commissioned officers, cadets, and midshipmen of both sexes, hence the more common term conduct unbecoming. A gentleman is understood to have a duty to avoid dishonest acts, displays of indecency, lawlessness, dealing unfairly, indecorum, injustice, or acts of cruelty.
Similar charges exist in the disciplinary regulations of other services. Nigel Rees cites the British Naval Discipline Act of 10 August 1860, Article 24, as the first appearance. CUBO, or “Conduct unbecoming an officer”, is used disciplinarily in civil police agencies also.
Note 2. The Image. This is Cujo, the rabid St. Bernard from Stephen King’s book and 1983 film.