A recent column by ‘community blogger’, and Major League Baseball delusionist, Rich Preheim in the Elkhart Truth newspaper was a decidedly delusional, hypocritical ad hominem attack on Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers.
I will offer my point-by-point rebuttal of Preheim’s fantasy world in a second, but first I wanted to address critics of the Elkhart Truth for publishing the piece. The Truth did not write the column, they published it. As they do with a variety of columns that are essentially guest posts. It should be viewed as a positive that a paper provides this opportunity, instead of just the typically letter to the editor format we usually see. A community newspaper should provide a forum for all, and allow community engagement. It’s no different than me taking callers on my show you disagree with. People always ask me why I put certain calls on the air. Would you prefer I censor them? With that said, Preheim wrote the piece, not the Elkhart Truth.
Preheim starts off his post by saying Sheriff Rogers (who’s seeking his second term as Elkhart County Sheriff) wants “unsurpassed power in law enforcement.” He then goes on to say that isn’t really accurate and that Sheriff Rogers “wants to not only enforce laws, but also decide which laws aren’t legitimate and therefore can’t be enforced.”
Considering Sheriff Rogers’ is very vocal practitioner of constitutionalism, he is opposed to unsurpassed power in law enforcement. Preheim’s assertion that Rogers supports all powerful law enforcement is not only false, but wonderfully hypocritical. More on that later. We’ll also get to his claim that Rogers wants to decide which laws to enforce in a bit. It all comes together throughout this piece. I’ll now quote Preheim’s column and offer my rebuttal below each quote.
That’s a right-wing extremist agenda to make Elkhart County stop in its tracks.
I love hyperbole, don’t you? Has anyone on the left actually defined what ‘right-wing extremism’ is yet?
Rogers’ ideological inclinations have been evident locally, particularly with his 2011 confrontation with the Food and Drug Administration over unpasteurized milk from a local dairy
You mean the elected Sheriff protecting his constituents from repeated violations of their 4th Amendment rights by a federal agency? Does Preheim think it reasonable for a federal agency to repeatedly harass a citizen without a warrant for engaging in the perfectly legal practice of cow sharing? It wasn’t that the farm was inspected to ensure no illegal selling of raw milk was going on, it was the repeated warrantless inspections (that the farm initially allowed) that were designed to harass and intimidate a law-abiding citizen that was the problem. Both the DOJ and FDA acknowledge that searches must have a warrant, or meet constitutionally consistent benchmarks to be carried out. Wouldn’t supporting constant, repeated, warrantless searches of one’s property be the very definition of ‘unsurpassed power in law enforcement’ Preheim is trying to warn us Sheriff Rogers wants?
And with his grandstanding with Cliven Bundy in Nevada this past spring.
Since when is a holder of a constitutional office not allowed to inject themselves in a constitutional discussion? On their own vacation time? At their own expense? I’m from Las Vegas (only been in Indiana just over 3 years), and I know more about BLM land grabs than probably anyone reading this. I won’t bore you with the details in this post. I will ask, however, why is it acceptable for police chiefs and sheriffs from around the country to comment on various multi-state issues such as immigration and gun control while wearing their uniforms at rallies and on TV, but it isn’t acceptable for Sheriff Rogers to do the same on a multi-state federal land grab issue? What about the common practice of law enforcement being allowed to wear their uniforms while traveling out of state for conferences, or while providing security as a second job on the side?
They have propelled the sheriff to superstar status in the “patriot” movement across the nation. As a result, what happens in the anti-federal government and anti-gun control movement beyond Elkhart County directly affects us here
Well, at least Preheim finally acknowledged that constitutional issues in other parts of the country do affect Elkhart County residents. I guess it makes the previous point made by Preheim and myself moot, but as long as Preheim jumps around uncoordinatedly, I will too.
Here, Preheim suggests that people whom he disagrees with are not patriots, and applies that assertion to Sheriff Rogers. A baseless ad hominem attack incapable of being supported with any facts.
Preheim then goes on to launch another false, baseless attack against these supposed ‘anti-federal government’ types. Constitutionalists like Sheriff Rogers aren’t anti-federal government. That’s a mythical left-wing talking point used to paint a false radicalized picture of one’s political opponents. Limited government is not anti-government. Anti-government is anarchy … a typically far left-wing ideal. Limited government in the U.S. means constraining the federal government to the powers delegated to it in the United States Constitution in a representative republic. Mr. Preheim is confusing support for a representative republic with a confederacy. Dictionaries are your friend Mr. Preheim.
By anti-gun control movement, I assume Preheim is referring to supporters of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. You know, the one written by the Founding Fathers. Of which there are literally hundreds of quotes annihilating the false gun-control arguments, but I digress. The Constitution is the law of the land, and established a strong federal government. The same federal government Preheim just accused Sheriff Rogers of opposing, but seems he himself opposes. If you support gun-control, you are the anti-federal government crowd.
Rogers sits on the Council of Sheriffs, Peace Officers and Public Officials of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) The CSPOA advocates an unreasonably strict reading of the Constitution.
‘Unreasonably strict reading of the Constitution?’ You mean the literal reading of the law of the land? Here goes Preheim’s anti-federal government radicalism again!
I’m waiting for the day that someone gets arrested, is charged, put on trial, takes the stand, and argues that the only reason they are facing conviction is because of law enforcement and the prosecution’s ‘unreasonably strict reading’ of the law. I guess Preheim is in the ‘it depends on what your definition of the word ‘is’ is’ crowd.
CSPOA is simply an organization affirming that they will abide by their oaths of office to conduct their duties in accordance with the federal and state constitutions. You know, the law of the land again. How very scary that an organization of law enforcement personnel would vow not to abuse their authority over you.
CSPOA and similar organizations argue, the county sheriff is the ultimate protector of the people. It’s part of a virulent anti-government movement that goes back to the Posse Comitatus movement of the 1970s and is surging now
Posse Comitatus? DOG WHISTLE, DOG WHISTLE!
What Preheim is ignorantly trying to do here is call CSPOA, and Sheriff Rogers by association, white supremacist racists. What Preheim fails to tell you (most likely because he doesn’t know anything about it) is that Marshals and Sheriffs were the targets of the Posse Comitatus movement, and several were murdered by them. Preheim is drawing a tenuous link between Sheriff Rogers, CSPOA, and the Posse Comitatus movement because they believed the Sheriff was the top law authority in their area. Something that is factually and constitutionally correct, and has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. He failed to inform his readers that Posse Comitatus believed that the Sheriff must comply with the will of the people or be hanged. They did not support a Sheriff upholding the Constitution.
Something else Preheim doesn’t know is that the Sheriff’s authority in their district predates the founding of this country by at least a century and a half. Sheriffs have traditionally been the ‘tip of the spear’ and led the local militia against an oppressive government both before and after the founding. So CSPOA and Sheriff Rogers are constitutionally, and historically correct on this matter. Preheim’s argument is again baseless ad hominem.
Rogers – who refuses to join the mainstream National Association of Sheriffs, which maintains that sheriffs are empowered to enforce laws and not interpret them – now moves in an orbit of rabid right-wingers.
More baseless name calling from Preheim, I’m shocked. It’s National Sheriffs’ Association by the way. So much for even fact-checking names.
I love it when people just throw out the word ‘mainstream’. Let’s face it, this is all about Sheriff Rogers’ support of the 2nd Amendment. Fact is, the National Sheriffs’ Association disagree with Preheim on a host of issues. For starters, they agree with Sheriff Rogers and CSPOA that the Sheriff is the chief local law enforcement official. They are also strongly pro-2nd Amendment. The National Sheriffs’ Association has stated that the oath of office does not grant the sheriff magical powers to make law and interpret law where the courts haven’t already done so. An assertion Sheriff Rogers has never disagreed with. The National Sheriffs’ Association has publicly stated that “a sheriff should always perform his or her duties in accordance with the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court.” Which is all Sheriff Rogers has stated he would do.
Example: The federal government bans firearms, or restricts them in a way that violates the Constitution as determined by the Supreme Court previously, then both Sheriff Rogers and the ‘mainstream’ National Sheriffs’ Association believe that sheriffs have the right to conduct their duties in accordance with the Constitution. Not to blindly follow the laws of tyrants, nor interpret any law that has not been addressed already by the courts.
While we are on the subject of ‘mainstream’, being mainstream does not mean you are right. Nor does one get to arbitrarily apply the mainstream moniker only to those with whom they agree. I suspect from Mr. Preheim’s article that he is not a proponent of the 2nd Amendment as written, and is out of the ‘mainstream’ of public opinion, and that of law enforcement. Why someone would attack someone for not being mainstream when they themselves are not mainstream is beyond me.
On the CSPOA council with Rogers is Cornel Rasor, a former Idaho county commissioner who helped draft an initiative for the county to defend itself against the United Nations’ Agenda 21, the non-binding, voluntary program that’s a favorite target of conspiracy theorists.
Look at all these kooks Rogers hangs out with! He must also be a kook!
First, Agenda 21 is a real thing. That is not in dispute. I’ll let you decide whether or not their agenda is good or bad. Also not in dispute is that people on the left and right oppose Agenda 21. It is voluntary for government participation, but governments are, in fact, participating. That participation translates into compulsory compliance from their constituency. Agenda 21 gave birth to the ICLEI which helps implement Agenda 21 doctrine across the globe, and especially in the U.S. There are 5 Indiana municipalities that are members of ICLEI, and work to implement Agenda 21 friendly policies in our state. Muncie, Bloomington, and South Bend were the three of five that were publicly listed before the ICLEI decided to hide its member municipalities from the public. Agenda 21 policies are being implemented by the federal government (remember incandescent bulbs?) through the Dept. of Agriculture, EPA, DOE, and others. It’s not a black helicopter conspiracy. It’s more accurate to think of it as a lobbying firm lobbying government to support its cause.
Mr. Preheim may disagree with Cornel Rasor’s opinion of Agenda 21, but attempting to dismiss Agenda 21 as an inconsequential conspiracy that thrives on myth is absolute provable nonsense.
Another council member is Jeff Christopher, a Delaware sheriff who clashed with local and state authorities when he started assuming responsibilities of the police department.
This was the most egregiously misleading paragraph I saw in the entire piece. Aside from completely taking Sheriff Christopher out of context in his quote via HuffPo, he spins a mythical narrative of a radical that just doesn’t exist. Mr. Preheim doesn’t tell you why Sheriff Christopher ‘clashed’ with local and state authorities. You see, Sheriff Christopher had the audacity to think his department should have the same policing powers as every other sheriff’s department in the United States. You know, arrest people, conduct traffic stops, general police duties … radical, extremist things like that.
The state’s Attorney General, Beau Biden (son of our Vice President, but not the coke head son), sent out a mandate stating that the Sheriff no longer had the powers of arrest. Imagine a sheriff’s department that isn’t allowed to arrest people. Sheriff Christopher argued that the Deleware Constitution gave him the authority of … well … a sheriff. House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf, a Democrat, introduced legislation removing any claims to police powers by the Sheriff. Schwartzkopf actually said: “He continues to say he’s law enforcement, and he’s not.” So a bunch of Democrats got together and removed all police powers from a Republican sheriff. Yeah, nothing concerning about that at all.
At this point Mr. Preheim brings up a completely irrelevant freelance Pravda writer who apparently said something incendiary in support of Sheriff Christopher as if Christopher himself had said it, or even endorsed it. Shameless politics of personal destruction.
Even more chilling is Rogers’ association with another anti-government group that upholds the primacy of the county sheriff, Oath Keepers. Anti-hate organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center are keeping a concerned eye on Oath Keepers, and the SPLC has named founder E. Stewart Rhodes an extremist.
Yes, chilling indeed. The Oath Keepers are not an anti-government group. Another blatant lie by Mr. Preheim. And yes, they do maintain the status of the county sheriff in the same manner as is historically correct, as the Supreme Court does, and as Mr. Preheim’s friends the ‘mainstream’ National Sheriffs’ Association do.
Anti-hate organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center are keeping a concerned eye on Oath Keepers, and the SPLC has named founder E. Stewart Rhodes an extremist.
Anyone who takes the politically motivated Southern Poverty Law Center seriously should immediately suffer a hit to their credibility. The SPLC is a designated hate group by using their own methodology. If you have a political opposition to something they don’t, you are labeled a hate group. Even if you’ve never committed an act of hate. The DOJ and FBI erased all ties with the SPLC after a history of false and dubious accusations of hate. A University of North Texas study showed that SPLC’s hate group designations are extremely politically motivated against Republicans, conservatives and Christians. There is no focus on left-wing hate groups, though law enforcement and the FBI track them. Professor George Yancey concluded that SPLC’s ‘outrage’ was selective and subjective. They are not alone in that assessment. The SPLC is taken seriously by exactly no one but the most tribalist of ideologues.
New York authorities in June issued a “Counter Terrorism Bulletin,” warning law enforcement of Oath Keepers, among other groups.
Yep, another bunch of left-leaning bureaucrats are attacking a constitutional non-partisan organization. The NY State Police and FBI did say their intent was not to label the Oath Keepers as an extreme right-wing organization, but that the wording might be construed that way.
Mr. Preheim then goes on to mention that a couple members of the Oath Keepers may not be good people. Countless great organizations have bad apples … Mr. Preheim’s Democratic Party for instance. Yes, I’m assuming he’s a Democrat based on this and other writings. Mr Preheim says he’s a Christian. Does he think all of Christendom evil extremists because of crazies within its ranks? Let’s not forget the scandal prone Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Those few instances of abhorrent behavior should not affect the overwhelming majority of other members. The Oath Keepers are a great organization that only seeks to have their members abide by the oaths they swore. Those evil oaths of office.
This is the dark world of bigots, birthers and the John Birch Society. Here anti-immigration zealots, Christian Identity believers, white supremacists, militia members and “sovereign citizens” intermingle and propagate anger, mistrust and even violence. Any claims that Brad Rogers can move in this environment without being the least bit infected are dubious.
Not as dubious as your words Mr. Preheim. Ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem. Nothing but baseless personal attacks since Mr. Preheim has nothing else. He hasn’t proven any of his other baseless attacks in his piece, so why not just throw a bunch of bigotry words at the wall and see what sticks.
But Rogers is more than guilty by association. He believes that because he and other sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officials in the land, they can decide what laws are not legitimate and need to be ignored.
Again, they ARE the highest law enforcement official in the land (his county). That isn’t belief, that is fact. Mr. Preheim again oversimplifies the Sheriff’s stance on unconstitutional laws. So I’ll just let Sheriff Rogers explain it himself. I wonder how Mr. Preheim feels about President Obama, Eric Holder, and members of Congress openly ignoring, and advocating the ignoring of, US federal law. If Sheriff Rogers isn’t allowed to decide what laws to enforce or not, how about members of the Executive and Legislative branches choosing not to enforce immigration or health care law?
It’s one thing to oppose Sheriff Rogers because you disagree with him, but this was simply an attempt at personal slander and baseless character assassination. Nothing but a hit piece full of holes, mischaracterizations, and flat out lies.
Mr. Preheim is the most dangerous of citizen. Not because of his writings, but because he has no foundational core.
Mr. Preheim believes the Founding Fathers had no right to resist British rule. They should have obeyed the law instead, and we should still be a part of England. Some may say I’m stretching a bit to say that, but if you take his words at face value he believes the colonists should not have decided which British laws to obey or not.
Yes I’m going there … Mr. Preheim is the type of person who would let the Germans round up the Jews. After all, it was the law, and he expects law enforcement to enforce all laws blindly. You might think that is extreme, but he just devoted an entire column to arguing that very point. If Mr. Preheim argues to the contrary, then his entire narrative in this article falls apart. It becomes just an empty suit of partisan hyperbole.
You either believe in blind adherence to the law, no matter how unconstitutional, immoral, or oppressive. Or you believe constitutionally elected officials have the capacity to enforce laws constitutionally, and be held accountable by the people and the courts.
In the military, I took an oath. One I take seriously to this day. The excuse used to justify criminal conduct by soldiers is that they were just obeying orders. No one accepts that. Nor should they. Which is why an illegal order does not have to be obeyed. If only more of our constitutional office holders held that same philosophy.
Mr. Preheim’s entire article in summary:
- It’s ok for a federal agency to repeatedly inspect your property without a warrant because you are engaged in a perfectly legal practice.
- Law enforcement shouldn’t comment on any political issue unless I agree with them.
- Patriots are bad.
- Sheriff Rogers hates the federal government so much he’s devoted to strict adherence to the federal government’s governing document.
- Sheriff Rogers belongs to organizations I don’t like so he’s an extremist who runs around with racists if he isn’t a full-blown racist himself.
- I want Sheriff Rogers to strictly adhere to federal laws, but I don’t like that he belongs to organizations that strictly adhere to the law of the land, and I don’t want him to strictly adhere to the supreme law of the land either.
- Oaths don’t mean anything, and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
- The organizations I like are mainstream. The organizations Sheriff Rogers likes are extremist.
- Agenda 21 isn’t real beyond a voluntary idea.
- Insert untrue or misleading accusations against people Sheriff Rogers associates with.
- The NRA is the boogie man.
- Racists, birthers, insert evil boogie men here, that propagate hate and violence are rubbing off on Sheriff Rogers.
- No one has the right to not enforce any law that may be unconstitutional, no matter how oppressive … just obey.