Op Ed

Why Clarke Is Wrong About Trump

The sheriff’s defense of the president is out of touch with reality.

By - May 17th, 2017 12:03 pm
Sheriff David Clarke speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Sheriff David Clarke speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Give Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County his due: he was an early supporter of Donald Trump during his campaign for president. And now, the sheriff (himself embattled) is doubling-down on his support for the controversial commander-in-chief, even as Trump faces mounting criticism and possible impeachment for a plethora of issues.

Clarke sent this tweet out on Tuesday evening, defending the president against the so-called “establishment” that’s trying to ruin his presidency.

That’s quite a mouthful, so let’s break it down:

First, the “attacks on our president” are wholly appropriate (to borrow a phrase from Team Trump). The president faces scrutiny for a variety of mishaps and problems during his first few months in office, but as I see it these are the biggest concerns as of late:

  • Trump fired former FBI director James Comey. While spokespeople for his administration cited Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails as rationale for his ouster, Trump himself said in an interview with Lester Holt that his firing had everything to do with the direction Comey was taking the investigation into possible Russian collusion with Trump’s presidential campaign. His firing screams obstruction of justice.
  • Russian pictures in the Oval Office, and sharing classified info. One day after firing Comey — again, for continuing an investigation into Russian connections to his campaign — Trump actually met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The meeting was behind closed doors, without any U.S. media present. But Russian photographers from their state media service took plenty of photographs, posting the images to social media just moments later. Trump also shared classified information with the Russians, obtained from Israeli intelligence, a move that while technically legal is dangerously stupid.
  • The Comey Memo. And it was revealed Tuesday that Trump had pressured Comey to end the investigation into Michael Flynn, who had met with Kislyak before Trump assumed office, allegedly to talk about lifting American sanctions on Russia once Flynn was in as National Security Advisor. His improper contacts with Russians, his failure to disclose money earned while in Russia and Turkey, and his lying about it to Trump officials, led to Trump asking for his resignation. Comey wrote in a memo that Trump had urged him to drop the investigation of Flynn after Flynn left the White House, and before Comey was fired.

Any objective observer would see the facts outlined above and think, “yes, those actions by the president warrant further inspection.” And that’s being generous — many would read the above and think much worse. But Clarke? Criticizing Trump for those actions are attacks.

Next, let’s look at Clarke charging that the “establishment” is behind the attacks of Trump. Who does he mean here?

Democrats? They’re out of power. They are the minority in both houses of Congress. They control barely a handful of governorships and statehouses. And they are being joined by more Republicans daily in their calls for investigating Trump, including Republican Mike Gallagher, who represents the 8th Congressional District of Wisconsin. The “political” attacks are becoming bipartisan as more is revealed about Trump.

The media? They merely report on what Trump himself and his surrogates have said. And you cannot fault them for reporting on sources in the White House who are bringing forth a trove of embarrassing information about the president that, more often than not, proves to be true.

So who is the establishment? It’s an imaginary bogeyman. Just as Trump said he would “drain the swamp,” Clarke wants to focus on a character of his imagination that’s seemingly going after the president. Truth is, the president is responsible for his own downfall.

Finally, Clarke says that this imaginary establishment is trying to disrupt the will of “We the People.” This is perhaps the most laughable part of Clarke’s short Twitter rant — a plurality of Americans didn’t select Trump to be president in the first place. He did win the Electoral College, but by a count of more than three million votes Hillary Clinton was the preferred choice of “We the People.”

But much more than that, Clarke implies that anyone upset with how elected leaders govern is trying to disrupt the will of the people. So what was Clarke, Trump, et. al. doing before 2017? Looking back at their statements and tweets from that time, it’s clear to see that they hardly accepted who “We the People” elected (former President Barack Obama), frequently expressing themselves in vehement outbursts how they felt the country was going down the gutter.

And that’s fine — it was Clarke’s right to do so at the time. But turning that around and suggesting criticism of Trump is “trying to nullify the will of We the People” is hypocritical.

Donald Trump is in serious trouble. Liberals and progressives have seen the problems with Trump for quite some time, and now some conservatives are starting to open up their eyes to the problems this president has presented as well.

Clarke is choosing to remain blind to what the president has done. He has the right to choose willful blindness, but he’s wrong to believe he and other Trump supporters are the victims of a made-up establishment’s attacks on the president.

Chris Walker writes a blog at http://political-heat.blogspot.com

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

16 thoughts on “Op Ed: Why Clarke Is Wrong About Trump”

  1. JPKMKE says:

    I did not vote for trump, but to assume that he is not following in the footsteps of Obama, Bush and Clinton in providing information to the Russians or other States with questionable motives would be extremely naive.

  2. Vincent Hanna says:

    Did those presidents reveal highly classified information to Russia about terrorists against the explicit wishes of a key U.S. ally, information that hadn’t been shared with other key allies?

  3. Vincent Hanna says:

    Richard Clarke (Former counterterrorism official, currently a consultant for ABC News, adjunct faculty member at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and author of “Against All Enemies” and “The Scorpion’s Gate”) says you are wrong JPKMKE. He said this information only gets out because the intelligence community is so worried about what Trump did and that you don’t reveal highly classified information to Russia that was given to you by an ally.

    A different guest, Michael McFaul (Senior fellow, the Hoover Institution; he served for five years in the Obama administration, as a special assistant to the president at the National Security Council and as ambassador to the Russian Federation), said this is unprecedented and just doesn’t happen.

    So quite simple you are wrong.


  4. JPKMKE says:

    I would imagine alot of what is happening is unprecedented because Trump is bypassing his advisers and long-standing protocols every day. However, that does not mean that sharing information with the Russians and other States with questionable motives (as I said) is not done. Obama provided intelligence to the Russians on ISIS in Syria. I’m not shocked that Trump wanted to use this information to get something from the Russians.

  5. Vincent Hanna says:

    This isn’t merely “sharing information.” You are talking about two entirely different things now. If what Trump did here is unprecedented, which it is, then he is not following in anyone’s footsteps and doing what’s been done before.

  6. JPKMKE says:

    Also continuing to perpetuate the argument that one candidate had more popular votes or electoral votes over the other is an empty argument. The race was a statistical tie and BOTH candidates only captured 26% of eligible voter ballots. That is hardly a mandate for Hillary or Trump.

  7. JPKMKE says:

    Although I absolutely agree that Clarke’s comments about the “will of the people” are overreaching fact to make a point. It has an odd revolutionary tone and I wonder if he is oblivious to the facts or intentionally trying to lead without them.

  8. reader says:

    Mrs. Julie Clarke is unhinged. He is just hoping to get another cushy job on the federal payroll. I believe even the conservative Milwaukee county voters don’t want this emberassment to remain in office and would nopt voteto reelect him

  9. hinty says:

    Clarke bellows and bloviates in his desperate bid for a spot on the national stage, while four human beings lie dead due (in part) to his lack of attentiveness re. conditions at the county jail. He failed in his responsibility. But those human beings do not matter to the unhinged, egotistical maniac that is David Clarke.

  10. Mysaki says:


    Go Sheriff Clare

  11. Rich says:

    He might be wrong, but he got what he wanted: https://www.google.com/search?q=david+clarke+homeland+security
    Hopefully burying him a department somewhere will means we don’t have to hear from him again.

    That said, power vacuum about to open in MKE County…Will we see “we the (local) people” elect another blowhard idiot or an actual sheriff?

  12. Daddy3Girls says:

    That new job came just in the nick of time!

  13. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    More articles from left wing political hacks whose sole goal is to destroy Trump and the country.

  14. Vincent Hanna says:

    Yeah the plot to destroy America is going really well so far. We didn’t think it would happen so fast.

  15. Jeff w. says:

    Dear Wisconsin conservative digest: open your eyes, trump is doing his best to destroy the country. Cowgirl Clarke is leaving because he knows he’d get his ass kicked in his next run to be the absentee sheriff. Good riddance.

  16. Thomas says:

    Clarke is a fool in continuing to support Trump as evidence.mounts that Trump would dismantle the engines of the U.S.A . to serve his brand. The faux Sheriff of Milwaukee County might get a short-term federal job from Trump in exchange for kissing the ring of a con-man, but he could ultimately burn in hell right here on earth in exchange for that Faustian bargain. Clarke could become a poster boy for the nihilism of the Trump brand.

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