I’m not the only one who thinks former Sheriff David Clarke is a terrible representative of the conservative movement.
I wrote a column suggesting that Yellowstone County Republicans had disgraced themselves by inviting Clarke to speak at their annual dinner, and then I wrote that Clarke proved his unworthiness with his comments on the school shooting in Florida.
A writer for the National Review, which was the conscience of the Republican Party when the party still had a conscience, said much the same thing, but in even harsher terms:
“First it was the Holocaust, now Parkland — is there any act of depravity to which the less respectable right-wing media cannot imagine a connection for George Soros?
“David Clarke, the sheriff of Fox News, insisted that the Florida students’ reaction to the shooting ‘has GEORGE SOROS’ FINGERPRINTS all over it,’ idiotic capitalization in the original and, one assumes, in his soul.”
The writer, Kevin D. Williamson, correctly identifies the rot as starting at the head, in the form of President Trump, and he says, “When people get used to hearing prominent conservatives lying about their opponents, it makes it easier for honest and fair-minded people to dismiss conservative arguments and conservative claims out of hand.”
His concluding point was what I had in mind when I criticized local Republicans for being a party to this kind of cheap demagoguery:
“David Clarke should be ashamed of himself, and not just for his ridiculous hat. And conservatives should be ashamed of them, too, and for bending the knee to Scott Baio, Ted Nugent, and every other third-rate celebrity who has something nice to say about a Republican from time to time. And we should be ashamed of ourselves if we come to accept this kind of dishonesty in the service of political expediency. If conservative ideas cannot prevail in the marketplace of ideas without lies, they do not deserve to prevail at all.”