Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

America’s Newest Hero, David Clarke

He’s in the news everywhere and conservatives are falling all over themselves in adulation.

By - Dec 9th, 2014 12:37 pm
Sheriff David Clarke

Sheriff David Clarke

The American Thinker is “a daily internet publication devoted to the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans.” And lately it’s been thinking — quite fondly — of Milwaukee’s own David Clarke.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke tells it like it is. He’s a stellar reminder of what true leadership looks like and what it means to uphold the rule of law. It is a relief to hear someone speak with such honesty and candor,” the publication has trumpeted.

Then there is the East Valley Tribune, the “community-focused local newspaper” in Tempe, Arizona, which begins its story about Clarke with a veritable sense of awe. “Something happens when courage shows up with a microphone. Hope sets in and America stands taller,” the newspaper declares. Clarke, the paper suggests, would make a good candidate for the highest office in the land: “One can’t help but wonder if our next president should be an American sheriff. A leader who really is transparent. Something to think about as our black fellow citizens learn more every day why certain of their role models need to take a hike.”

But no one seems to love Clarke more than Fox News, where he gets interviewed all the time. Clarke has condemned former Attorney General Erik Holder for comments the latter made about the controversy in Ferguson, Missouri. He has lambasted activists like Al Sharpton and the Black Panther Party. He has accused New York Mayor Bill De Blasio of “irresponsible rhetoric” for his reaction to the death of a suspect by New York Police.  He has charged that President Barack Obama’s call for calm in Ferguson was actually insincere and done with “a wink and a nod.”  He has castigated Missouri’s Democratic governor Jay Nixon for not being aggressive enough handling violent protesters of a grand jury decision not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown.

One can understand why conservative outlets like Fox and the Washington Times love Clarke. He is willing to reinforce their entire view of the world.

The sheriff has blasted the Obama administration for the “divisive politics that the White House has been playing….You know… This fictitious war on women — pitting men against women; this fanning the flames of racial discord, pitting whites against blacks; this class warfare, the 1%, the rich, tax the rich, on and on and on is pitting American against American.”

He’s told America there is nothing holding back African Americans from succeeding. “We’ve come a long way in terms of improved race relations here in the United States. White society, I think, has done a credible job of trying to right those wrongs and realizing they can’t hold us back anymore. that we can only hold ourselves back.”

And of course, he’s declared that gun control doesn’t work and in fact, its supporters really don’t want to reduce gun violence: “For the anti-gun cabal, this is more about defeating a political adversary, the influential National Rifle Association, than it is about reducing gun violence.”

It’s remarkable how prescient Clarke is. He knows better than the governor of Missouri how to handle protestors, he knows better than the police in New York how to handle Eric Garner, who died in their custody, he knows better than Mayor De Blasio how to handle the controversy there.

Clarke also knows more than the countless big city police chiefs, who, following the example of New York City in the 1990s, which reduced crime dramatically, have used similar, data-driven methods to track and combat crime. That includes the Milwaukee Police Department, which he criticized for using that “data-driven crap” in a story in Politico magazine. That story’s photo was illustrated with a photo out of Clarke’s dreams: he was wearing a cowboy hat and sandwiched between an American Eagle and the American flag. 

The story, written by Milwaukee free lancer and former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Held, notes that it’s “No secret that Clarke, a former veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, was not a fan of MPD Chief Ed Flynn—Clarke has been very publicly mulling a run for mayor, a job that would make him Flynn’s boss.”

“Clarke is a very public doubter when it comes to all the newfangled, data-driven, community-policing experiments embraced by Flynn,” Held continues. “Whether Clarke’s approach is effective is tough to determine: He refuses to produce an annual report with data on his department, although the county board directed him to do so three years ago. ‘All they are, they’re fluff pieces, anyway,’ Clarke scoffs. “Everybody’s annual report says we’re saving the world.’”

Clarke worked as a Milwaukee police officer more than two decades ago, back in the dark ages of the department when it comes to data-driven enforcement. And of course, the sheriff’s department doesn’t really do any crime investigation. In a typical year, his department handles less than one-fifth of one percent of crime in Milwaukee County.  The UWM campus police handle 12 times more criminals than the Sheriff’s Department. No wonder Clarke has so much time to do TV interviews.

Clarke’s solution for stopping crime? Simple, you just hire more police and get the money by cutting back services like libraries.  The recommendation is in line with the long-time fiscally liberal way he has run the sheriff’s department. Fortunately for Clarke, no one at Fox or the American Thinker has asked him any questions about running a budget.

Short Take

And we are indebted to Tom Held for revealing why Sheriff Clarke loves wearing that cowboy hat. “The cowboy look, he says, harkens back to his boyhood, when he sought to emulate his uncle, a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys.” Next we’ll hear he rides a horse because he loves the Indianapolis Colts.

Categories: Murphy's Law, Politics

35 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: America’s Newest Hero, David Clarke”

  1. PMD says:

    “One can’t help but wonder if our next president should be an American sheriff. A leader who really is transparent.”

    “Whether Clarke’s approach is effective is tough to determine: He refuses to produce an annual report with data on his department, although the county board directed him to do so three years ago.”

    I’m sensing a contradiction here.

    With Clarke’s department handling so little crime in the county, I wonder why a certain cable news outlet is so eager to seek his expertise on matters of crime.

  2. Mitch says:

    His expertise? How about 25+ years in law enforcement? Seems like he’s quite qualified to speak on those matters.

    It’s sad to see Bruce’s overt jealousy of Clarke’s success. Only a Milwaukee liberal like Bruce would relentlessly attack a black conservative from Milwaukee who is gaining national notoriety. The East Side Group Think doesn’t like black elected officials who wander too far off the liberal plantation.

  3. PMD says:

    He is qualified to speak on patrolling freeways, issuing press releases, and calling people names.

  4. Thomas bamberger says:

    I wonder if his notoriety is a result of the echo chamber that is journalism today. It about what we want to hear rather than what might be the case. When reality is not around to complicate things, we get the simplicity of guys like Clarke.

  5. Frank Galvan says:

    What is it about Clarke that makes him so appealing to Fox “News?” I can’t quite put my finger on it.

  6. Michael Nowotny says:

    Alle n West, Ben Carson, Herman Cain. I guess the right has to show some rightous African American that talks for the people and cares. So we all know that Clarke is on top of African-American values and what the community needs. Oh wheres the spoon to enhance the gag factor.

  7. Diane says:

    I point out that the cowboy hat, which Mr. Clark frequently wears on the sheriff department’s time and payroll, is not likely regulation dress for members of the sheriff’s department. Would others in Sheriff’s Department uniform be able to get by with non-standard headgear expressing their backgrounds and personalities? Felt Fedoras, or Cheeseheads?

  8. Willie Ray says:

    Don’t we all want a Sheriff who plays “…. smash mouth politics??”

    Reminds me of ‘Little Bill,’ the Sheriff of Big Whisky, in the movie Unforgiven. A filled with himself, overly righteous portrayer of “my way or the highway” law and order.

  9. Tom Held says:

    Thanks for the mention, Bruce. I enjoyed the time I spent interviewing the sheriff, and talking to others about him. I’ll share the link to the piece here Clarke does own a horse, by the way. He’s extremely well-read and certain of his views. I’ll leave others to form their own conclusions about him – the sheriff, not the horse.

  10. PMD says:

    That image of him in the Politico piece is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. You’d think it was a parody. I’m curious what you are implying when you say he’s well-read?

  11. David says:

    Disgusting that our taxes have to pay the wages and pension for such an ignorant clown and showboat. He is just another selfish self-serving loathsome human being.

  12. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    The Liberal ,White Racists who have systematically destroyed every Black and Hispanic leaders that do not stand up to their holding the Blacks/Hispanics in bondage, hate Clarke. why?? he exposes theri duplicity, stupidity and they hate it. if he was a “House Boy” or steppin Fetchit” they would love him.
    Look around you where are the Black leaders??? Head of MMAC, Major clubs, businesses, govt bodies. No, they are consigned to get free phones, food stamps and no jobs or education. If Milwaukee leaders are running education they are either incompetent or stupid. They cannot even teach kids to read.

  13. PMD says:

    You sure play the race card a lot WCD. Typically it’s conservatives accusing liberals of doing that. Clarke clearly hasn’t been destroyed. He was just reelected and is appearing on Fox News. He seems to be doing OK.

  14. fightingbobfan says:

    This guy has so many skeletons in the closet.

    It’s dangerous for someone in his position to pick up on the aroma of his own BS.

    The higher he goes, the more satisfying it will be when someone knocks him off his perch.

    If it wasn’t the gimmick of reich wing talk radio getting out the crossover vote, Clarke wouldn’t be in office.

    He might be legally elected, but he in no way can be considered to be legitimately in office.

  15. Kyle says:

    Nothing spices up a comment section quite like a Nazi/Hitler/Reich comparison. Stay classy, fightingbobfan.

  16. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Skeletons?? Stupid comment, he has been so thoroughly vetted and lied about by clowns like Zielinski nothing left.

  17. bonnie johnson says:

    This gentleman is a true hero, leader and straight talker/thinker. What courage and intellect to be able to cut through the untruths and explain things honestly with such integrity and passion. This gentleman will never back down from the truth or be intimidated by those trying to spin the truth. He’s got my vote. DAVID CLARKE FOR PRESIDENT!

  18. Rich says:

    Presenting for reference only. Have to admit that Clarke does lay it out there with no BS:

  19. Fightingbobfan says:

    The shoe fits Kyle.

  20. PMD says:

    I don’t like him, but If Clarke had skeletons, wouldn’t they have come out before election day, be it the most recent election or a previous one? I can’t imagine certain liberal advocacy groups or a county executive sitting on skeletons.

  21. PMD says:

    Yeah it would be great if the comments could avoid cries of liberal racism and Reich comparisons. Doubtful though.

  22. Kyle says:

    The shoe doesn’t fit Fightingbobfan. You offered no evidence to support that claim and it wasn’t anywhere in the story. It’s a baseless and incendiary addition to your comment that makes most people less inclined to listen to you than to WCD. Congratulations on being an example of everything wrong with internet comment sections.

  23. fightingbobfan says:

    What irritates me is that right wing radio in Milwaukee gets away with thinly veiled racism continually and it is dragging this city down.

  24. Tim says:

    Yeah, fightingbobfan and WCD are so comparable. (rolls eyes)

    WCD preaches to the choir and his magic is enflaming the base so they actually get out and do something. If you hear his siren song, you’re right wing.

    His words are bile to left-wingers and mere moderates.

  25. PMD says:

    I find that not listening to right wing talk radio makes life a lot better. If you don’t listen to it, it’s hard for it to bother you.

  26. Kyle says:

    So WCD spouts a bunch of nonsense that only speaks to conservatives and annoys everyone else. Then FightingBobfan spouts a bunch of nonsense about skeletons he can’t prove and the Reich, which only speaks to liberals and annoys everyone else. Yep, sooo comparable. (rolls eyes)

    So what are they “getting away” with fightingbobfan? Saying racists things isn’t actually illegal, last I checked. Nor is it required for their employer to fire them for saying those things, particularly if it’s their job and they’re doing it well (as measured by ad revenue, not your thoughts). I’m not sure that there’s anything to get away with here. Or are you annoyed that enough people are listening to their thoughts to keep them on the air (and support two stations worth of their programming)? Wouldn’t that just expose underlying issues in the greater Milwaukee area, not actually create them?

  27. PMD says:

    Hey I’m liberal, don’t like Clarke or right-wing talk radio, but talk of the Reich and skeletons most definitely does not speak to me. Just for the record.

    The stations might be based in Milwaukee, but do that many city residents really listen to right-wing talk radio? I was under the impression that the vast majority of their listeners are in the burbs and rural areas. Hell my father-in-law listens and he lives in another state.

  28. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    After Clarke got more than 80% in lat election leading everyone in Milwaukee county, Abele, Barrett, Journal, Chisholm, Bruce Murphy and all the other Lefists peed in their pants. Now David has open field to call attention to the failures of the Left, the Liberal, White, Racists that hand blacks and Hispanics cell phones, food stamps, but no jobs or education. They keep them from any positions of power unless they become house boys. Look around folks name me those that are not in line that have power besides Clarke and few others. The next few years are going to be tough on them as the Reagan dems, Conservatives, Republicans and others in Milwaukee county, that voted for him, look at the stupidity of fighting for Arenas, choochoos but not for jobs and kid learning to read and fixing crime.

  29. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    I have been writing columns, article, speeches for almost 50 years in every major news media in the country and the Post newspapers in the state. No one has ever successfully challenged and of my articles for truth. I know the issues, ideas, and the facts. If I say it you can believe it. You might disagree, but it is truth. Do your own research, I am not about to spend time putting footnotes down for all of these Liberal white Racist on this site. also I cannot type.

  30. Ryan says:

    WCD, 80% in last election? Clarke won comfortably but that’s ridiculous. I don’t fault you for trying to push a conservative view point on here, I fault you for tossing out trash.

    As for Sheriff Clarke he is what he is, a clever demagogue. For instance consider his controversial gun ownership ad. The National news media seized on his advocacy of gun ownership, but failed to notice his reference to recent budget cuts. He used the national news media to launch a hit and run attack on his political rivals, you know for not providing more funding for mishandled overtime and uniform changes.

    Now we have Clarke discussing how wrong it is to blame the cops… Was Sheriff David Clarke not doing the exact same thing back during his election? He openly questioned whether or not an MPD lieutenant was fit for the position in light of recent conflicts between the MPD and Milwaukee’s black community.

    Clarke is Milwaukee County’s answer to the Wizard of Oz, all show and no substance.

  31. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Typical white liberal racist, never does his home work, has big mouth, small brain. Clarke got 261,776 to opponent 61, 431. that is what %. I will let you figure it out unless you went to MPS and had liberal teachers. Just so you do not screw up to bad, divide Clarke’s total by the total vote to get percent. if you cannot use enough fingers and toes, I can help.
    I love to hear the Left whine. Clarke is famous for his good job all across the country. The leftists are trying to get rid of all Black leaders in county and Clarke is the last, but now he has one shot at you dumb lefties.

  32. Bruce Murphy says:

    To WCD: two corrections. I didn’t pee in my pants over Clarke’s victory. and Clarke got 52% in the primary, which was the only race that had any meaning. Now you can go back to your rants and getting everybody all riled up, I know how much you love to to that.

  33. Kyle says:

    Bruce, is that an admission that the general elections in Milwaukee have no meaning?

  34. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    It means that numerous conservatives took the time to cross over to vote for Clarke so that in the general population, not just the white liberal racists groups he has a whopping 80% popularity, he ran with opposition and the Left could have voted for the opposition. The Left wanted him out, just as they have outed every other Black leader than is not a House boy, in the last 20 years. Look around you. The Left tosses the blacks some phones and food stamps but no jobs or education.
    How many black leaders are there at the top? How many are heading up the major clubs,organizations around Milwaukee??? Answer?? Damn few. As soon as one gets up there unless he follows the standard leftist line, they dump him. They just recently tossed an assemblyman from the black community and they tried to dump Clarke with the worst nasty invective I have ever see. that gutless little weenie Abele put up $250,000 and hud behind a committee so that he would not be accused of racism. One of our top priorities in this community after crime has to be fixing MPS, but the left only worries about the votes, not the kids..

  35. seriously says:

    Wdc your either Dave Bagel or Howard Fuller. Intellectuals with an axe to grind.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us