Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, has been in the headlines a lot lately, because of a picture circulating through the media showing her blatantly disrespecting the President of the United States, and the office of the presidency.
This happened, apparently, because Brewer had a meeting with the president a while back, which, when it happened, she described as "very cordial." Then, when she decided to "write" a book--and quotations are used because anyone who's listened to Brewer speak for more than two minutes knows that she and the English language are not on amicable terms--she changed her tune, describing the president as "condescending" and "patronizing." According to her version of events, she met him on the airport tarmac when he arrived in Arizona recently, to give him a hand-written letter inviting him to go to the border with her, and he jumped all over her about the description of their meeting in her book. Or she asked him if he read it--her version of events changed multiple times during her subsequent retellings of it. Which is pretty much the point of this post--to introduce her fact-free reign to those who might not be fortunate enough to live in Arizona and have only seen her from a distance.
Basically, Jan Brewer is a seemingly pathological liar, the kind who won't tell the truth even if it serves her best to do so. Nor can she admit to her lies, so she always sends staff out to "explain" what she really mean.
About the tarmac incident, Brewer said that she felt "threatened," and that the president walked away while she was in the middle of a sentence. Now, I've seen her leave gaps in the middle of her sentences that stretch on unbearably, so that doesn't seem too unreasonable. But in fact, there were two other people present at the scene, the Republican mayor of Mesa and the Democratic mayor of Phoenix, and they both say it didn't happen that way. According to Talking Points Memo.com:
"'There was no sense that he was running to or from anything,' Smith [Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa] told TPM. In fact, he said, the president stayed and had a pleasant conversation with Smith, who’s a Republican, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat."
Brewer said the president was "tense to say the least." But Greg Stanton says, "He wasn’t tense at all. The guy’s a pro.”
The interviews she gave did wonders for her book sales, though. And apparently that's very important to her. So important, in fact, that last October she formed a PAC, which she said would raise money to battle illegal immigration, and to take on other causes she believes in. So far, according to the PAC's financial statements, she's raised about $22,000, and all she has done with the money is buy her own book from Amazon (not even from local bookstores, which would keep her money and taxes in her own state). She also made a trip to Florida, and spent $624 for a single night in a swank hotel room, in a city that she spells as "Orlanda."
There are plenty of little lies in Brewer's recent history. She cynically uses the border issue for political purposes, claiming that people near the border live in fear (I live near the border, and that's flatly not true), making dishonest claims of "headless bodies" being discovered in Arizona's deserts (in her words, "Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there, that have been beheaded.”) and using the murder of a local rancher--probably by drug smugglers, but almost certainly not by random border crossers, since after the murder the killer raced right back across the border) to push for votes for her signature legislation, SB1070, a bill written by the private prison industry to benefit the private prison industry (who just happen to be major Brewer backers and associates). She fired the "independent" head of Arizona's redistricting commission because she didn't like the results that were coming from the commission--and when asked about it, couldn't even come up with a single reason for the firing. "I wish I had the letter I wrote," she said--because, since someone else no doubt wrote it, she could have checked it for reasons that were, at least, in English if not sensible. At any rate, the courts quickly decided the firing had no basis whatsoever and was illegal, and the commissioner was restored to her post.
But her most egregious lie to date has to be her disgusting use of her own father's death to support her political goals. After she signed SB1070, protestors sometimes compared her to a Nazi. That's unpleasant rhetoric, but since the bill basically requires law enforcement to round up people because of suspicions about their national origins, it's not that far from the mark. But Brewer objected to the characterization, saying, "The Nazi comments . . . they are awful. Knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany, that I lost him when I was 11 because of that . . . and then to have them call me Hitler's daughter. It hurts. It's ugliness beyond anything I've ever experienced."
In fact, her father died in 1955, in California, of a lung disease. Sent out to explain this most horrible of lies, her staff explained that she believes he developed the lung disease while working at a munitions depot during the war. Which is, you know, exactly the same thing as dying while fighting Nazis in Germany.
So, lying about murdering, beheading hordes of illegal immigrants, about the President of the United States, about how she'll spend her own PAC money--not to mention all the policy issues she's forced on Arizona while telling us it's for our own good, like slashing public education and colleges--aren't enough for her, but this woman will actually lie about her own father's death if she can score a momentary political point.
Her term as governer ends in 2014, which is a long time to wait.With luck, she'll never run for another political office as long as she lives. Any vote for her is a vote in favor of blatant dishonesty and the most repulsive and cycnical revulsion to the facts. Not to mention plain, old-fashioned idiocy.