So, it appears former Macomb County clerk Karen Spranger is not willing to pass into that dark space where she is simply remembered as an incompetent, incoherent ex-official who was removed from office.
Her latest ploy is to call on President Trump (or Gov. Rick Snyder) to send in the National Guard to protect her from an unconstitutional rebellion among the county’s judges and top officials. Spranger, based on lies about her residency, was successfully booted from her clerk’s post and the 14 Circuit Court judges will replace her in a matter of days.
In a document filed this week in federal court seeking a reprieve, Spranger and her new attorney, known as a crackpot on some Internet websites (more on that later), claim that she is the victim of an insurrection, a mutiny against the Macomb County voters.
Assuming the president does not want to stretch our military too thin, I fancifully wonder, could it be that Trump has a decision to make: Deploy the National Guard in Mount Clemens to save the delusional ex-clerk under siege, or send Guard troops to the Mexican border.
Imagine Guardsmen, bayonets displayed on their military weapons — reverse George Wallace-style — surrounding the county building that served as Spranger’s domain and escorting her back to her former office.
Within the surreal politics of 2018, this is a choice, presumably, only in the jumbled mind of Spranger. But, who knows? Maybe Trump is conflicted.
After all, The Donald for years has gravitated toward conspiracy theories and oddball characters. He may view Spranger as a victim of government tyranny in the Michigan county that played a key role in making him president.
The GOP clerk recently claimed that, after she wrote letters to him, Trump was ready to take action to save her. Her deputy clerk at the time, the equally delusional Jackie Ryan, told the media that federal marshals would be arriving on the scene shortly to protect her boss.
All of this is nonsense, of course. The 11-page document Spranger and her lawyer presented in federal court this week was called something “worthy of a Marx brothers movie” by the county’s top legal counsel and “nonsensical … gibberish” by County Executive Mark Hackel.
Yet, Trump has shown delight in trashing the courts and the justice system, so maybe he will want to make Spranger a martyr in one of his upcoming tweets. Perhaps the president will latch onto the Republican clerk’s claims of “rogue county agents” – supposedly the Democrats’ “Deep State” at the local level – plotting to destroy her after her incomprehensible election victory in 2016 as a Trump-like figure.
Of course, that would likely require the president to embrace Spranger’s far-fetched claims that she was trying to clean up corruption in the clerk’s office and expose mishandling of public finances. These wacky charges were raised by the disgraced ex-clerk repeatedly for 15 months against her predecessor, Carmella Sabaugh, who received dozens of national “good government” awards in her 24 years in office.
Still, Trump does not operate on facts and data. He goes with whatever his gut tells him at any particular moment in time. In the end, surely, he will side with sending troops to the Southern border, though he is about 18 years behind the curve on that issue.
Illegal border crossings by Mexicans peaked in 2000 and have decreased by more than 80 percent since then. At this point, border protection is not much of an issue as many undocumented Mexicans are returning home while the number of Border Patrol agents, starting with the Clinton presidency, has jumped by more than 500 percent.
Mexicans accounted for only 15 percent of all new immigrants arriving here in 2013, according to Pew Research, and the share of newcomers who are Latino is at its lowest level in five decades.
Pew informs us that 40 percent of recent immigrant arrivals — legal and illegal — are from Asia, Europe and Canada. Many come to the U.S. on various types of visas and stay beyond their legal limit. To stop this, a border wall is irrelevant.
As a result, Trump’s newest order for deployment of the National Guard to the winding Mexican border is not logical or rational. Maybe, just maybe, Spranger still has a chance to experience a rescue by the modern-day Trump cavalry — at least in her own mixed-up mind.
Spranger had engaged in various conspiracy theories during her reign as a longtime unemployed gadfly prior to her 2016 election as county clerk (which was made possible by Macomb County Republican voters nominating her in the GOP primary over two other candidates).
But her choice of an attorney to represent her in the appeal of her court-ordered dismissal as county clerk reveals that her fantasies may be far more significant than county officials realized.
Spranger is being represented by a character known as Rodney Dale Class, a supposed attorney from North Carolina who harbors an online reputation as a crackpot and makes Spranger look relatively mainstream. Dale (or Class, depending on which moniker he chooses at any particular time) claims that he is a “private attorney general” – a title that obviously does not exist. He also insists that he is a “constitutional bounty hunter” who collects payouts from the federal government by abducting those who act in a manner that is unconstitutional.
It gets worse.
In his bizarre past court fights and in his YouTube rantings, Dale/Class has claimed that the U.S. government is actually a private corporation engaged in widespread corruption. He insists that Congress knew back in 1967 that the constitution had been suspended.
His claims were prominently published by an obscure website known as anticorruptionsociety.com, along with basic conspiracy theories about smart meters, child vaccinations and global climate change. He advocated the idea that the federal Centers for Disease Control is secretly a for-profit corporation, a “rogue institution engaged in the destruction of the health of the American population.”
The website also publishes conspiracies about government studies that raise widely accepted health concerns. That would certainly appeal to Spranger, who has demonstrated strange conclusions about dietary matters. She engaged in a weird sales pitch on healthy eating last year just prior to an exceedingly important meeting on choosing new voting machines that would protect the Macomb election system’s integrity.
In addition, a website that defends Dale/Class against criminal charges filed against him regarding firearms possession in Washington, D.C., embraced the legal-heretic’s paranoid views on the world:
An unscrupulous international banking cartel under the thumb of the Vatican had taken over every function of government in the United States and forgot to tell the people. (And at least 118 other countries worldwide.)
The D.C. case has revealed the dirty little secret (that) the cartel has taken great pains to hide for 100 years. The War Powers Act of 1917 as amended was used by the banking cartel to set the people up for an extortion racket that makes the Mafia look like Sunday school teachers.
We can only imagine what kind of additional deranged chaos Spranger would have imposed if she had remained in office.