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Great Debate Disasters, Pt 45
September 3, 2010 12:52 PM   Subscribe

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer blanks catastrophically in a TV debate. No matter how strongly you feel about her immigration bill, it's hard not to feel for her. After all, public speaking is America's greatest fear, so the trainwreck might conceivably even help her. But then, here's her equally terrible reaction to press questions afterwards about her false claims that immigrants behead people. Not a good day for the controversial Arizona gov, who has now sworn off debates.

Here's Craig Ferguson's enhanced version. And a look back at some classic debate meltdowns and gaffes.
posted by CunningLinguist (175 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
You mean there's 44 earlier episodes of America's Most Tragic Political Videos? Where do I subscribe?

And eponisterical, to get that outta the way.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:56 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"We have...........did what was right for Arizona"

Good save Govenor
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:56 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the second link, why does Terry Goddard, the democratic candidate, keep saying "false statement?" Is there something wrong with the world "lie?"
posted by generichuman at 12:59 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Not the time to lose one's head."
"No."
"That's not the way to get ahead in life."
"No."
"It's a shame she wasn't more headstrong."
"Hmm."
"She'll never be the head of a major corporation."
"Okay, that'll do."
"Okay."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:00 PM on September 3, 2010 [11 favorites]


She signed that Arizona anti-immigrant bill into law.

You might be surprised how easy I'm finding it not to feel for her.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:00 PM on September 3, 2010 [94 favorites]


2bucksplus: "Good save Govenor"

are govner is a an American that we all too can so be proud of in these all too trying time. God Bless Jane brewar, God bless Amerrica ad America bless God!!!
posted by boo_radley at 1:01 PM on September 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


I guess she's suffering from Closed Door Syndrome. Thanks, Arizona Clean Elections!
posted by dersins at 1:02 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I definitely get a cringe watching it. I suppose that might count for feeling for her? I don't know. If something really tragic happens to her or her family, I'll feel for them. If she continues to demonstrate incompetence and loses her job? that's just the way it should be.
posted by shmegegge at 1:02 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


generichuman: "Is there something wrong with the world "lie?""

Yes. Calling someone a liar in a public debate (especially at that level) is likely to boomerang on someone.
posted by boo_radley at 1:02 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


i could have a beer with her! *vote*
posted by TrialByMedia at 1:02 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I watched that live last night as I was preparing for a presentation I had to give earlier today. My first thought was "Well, at least I won't fuck up that badly", my second thought was "Ohmygod, I'm going to fuck up that badly."
posted by electroboy at 1:03 PM on September 3, 2010 [21 favorites]


Wow that is just devastating to watch.
posted by penduluum at 1:03 PM on September 3, 2010


Could we get Gov. Brewer to debate Gov. Palin? Even though they agree on about everything, it could be a lot of fun.
posted by QIbHom at 1:03 PM on September 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Well gosh darn it, y'all just can't expect a true maverick to go off book!
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:03 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there something wrong with the world "lie?"

If a politician says someone else is lying, no matter how factual of a statement that may be, they will immediately be attacked for sounding like an accusatory, petulant child.
posted by phunniemee at 1:03 PM on September 3, 2010


Governor Brewer has also pulled ALL advertising from the CBS affiliate in Phoenix as retaliation for their dogged journalistic pursuit of possible conflicts of interest within her staff (related to possible profits to be had by a privately-run prison who is charged with ICE for holding illegal aliens). Rachel Maddow explains the story and interviews the reporter whose reports have led to this action by Brewer.

Seems an odd move to make during election season.
posted by hippybear at 1:05 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I saw this earlier today. I must say, when I saw that blank empty smile and dead eyes as she froze, the eery brain-dead quality of that image just screamed to me: THE CONSTITUENCY OF THE GOP - "This is the face of the Past. It's going away. This is not the Future. This is the old, the brain-dead, the desiccated, the dying, the hand from beyond the grave trying to hold on. But its time is gone."
posted by VikingSword at 1:05 PM on September 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


There's fear of public speaking, and then there's having your brain reboot mid-sentence. To her defense, they have done everything that they could possibly do. Where do you go from there?
Incumbent Republican Jan Brewer said Thursday she has no intention of participating in any more events with Democrat Terry Goddard. She said the only reason she debated him on Wednesday is she had to to qualify for more than $1.7 million in public funds for her campaign.
Oh right, take the (public!) money and run.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:05 PM on September 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


No matter how strongly you feel about her immigration bill, it's hard not to feel for her.

Actually it's really not hard at all. Feeling sorry for incompetent elected officials who are abusing their powers just isn't in my wheelhouse, imagine that.
posted by chaff at 1:06 PM on September 3, 2010 [17 favorites]


Could we get Gov. Brewer to debate Gov. Palin? Even though they agree on about everything, it could be a lot of fun.

The room would be complete silence, those two having sworn off of risky gotcha-media events.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:06 PM on September 3, 2010


This lunatic is the chief executive of an entire state? God help us all.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:06 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the commenters on that last link claims that Jan Brewer "makes Sarah Palin look like an intellectual giant." Seriously, is that even possible? Because if so, I would have expected Brewer to answer questions by tapping the desk with her hoof.
posted by spoobnooble at 1:06 PM on September 3, 2010 [29 favorites]


Carly Fiorina, Sharon Angle, Jan Brewer, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann. Hm.
posted by unSane at 1:06 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


She'll win anyway, right?

Yeah, fuck her and her knucle dragger supporters.
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


it's hard not to feel for her. -- No, no. Not that hard at all, actually.
posted by crunchland at 1:07 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Also, there are distinct signs of the media growing a pair in recent weeks)
posted by unSane at 1:08 PM on September 3, 2010


It is hard to laugh when I know she is almost certainly going to win.
posted by nestor_makhno at 1:08 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


No wonder she is terrified of illegal immigrants, they likely speak better English than she does.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:08 PM on September 3, 2010 [48 favorites]


From the last link:

"All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings," the governor said. "That is something that has stuck with you all for so long, and I just felt we needed to move on."

This is a sitting governor who told a violent, offensive, bald-faced lie designed to rile up racist sentiments. She got called out for it and now she just feels we need to move on. Sorry for her? No, not in a million years, no.
posted by chaff at 1:08 PM on September 3, 2010 [33 favorites]


I guess she's suffering from Closed Door Syndrome. Thanks, Arizona Clean Elections!

Finally! I, too, am an affluent white man in my 30s-to-40s, and I feel like The System has been shut for me too long! No more, I say! NO MORE! I will become a representative for the downtrodden who are just like me!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:09 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong to feel a little glee? What are the polls looking like in AZ at the moment?
posted by jquinby at 1:09 PM on September 3, 2010


Here's at least one interview where she's claiming beheadings. (I had to look it up because I couldn't imagine how that conversation went... though perhaps people in the U.S. have been flooded with this clip, or similar.)

Maybe after she's done with politics she can get a job creating storylines for GTA?
posted by taz at 1:13 PM on September 3, 2010


Oh Christ, how will this make any difference at all? Sarah Palin has all the verbal eloquence of an automated email spammer and yet she is is still welcomed with applause and bear hugs.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:14 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I'm sorry, I was told this was going to be a giant trough filled with monies that I would gorge myself on. Instead it's a talky-smile affair? Why would I do this again?"
posted by boo_radley at 1:14 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


The post debate press questions clip is much more damning. The on the air loss of words is embarrassing and funny but most everyone can identify a little bit with having your mind go blank in the middle of a sentence.

In the post debate interview though you can see the wheels turning as she thinks to herself fuck y'all, and simply turns and runs rather than answer the increasingly strident questions from the press about why she won't back off the stupid beheading thing. Losing your train of thought during an important presentation is embarrassing but having a silent tantrum and running from the press is inexcusable campaign behavior from a professional politician.
posted by Babblesort at 1:14 PM on September 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


Wow that is just devastating to watch.

When I was younger, I would have felt the same way. I would have had to turn it off or close my eyes.

Now I totally love it. I FEED on the awkwardness.

I think I changed when I stopped being so self-conscious about myself. Fuck what anybody else thinks. Once you lose that sense of public shame, it's all incredibly entertaining.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:14 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes, she's a horrible person and a lousy, dangerous politician. But a lot of you guys apparently have never dried during a speech. I count is as one of the top five worst moments in my life.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:14 PM on September 3, 2010


Doing poorly in a debate and responding by refusing to do any more potentially-face-saving debates is kind of like being diagnosed with cancer and responding by refusing to go see any more of those damn doctors.

And really, there needs to be more backlash against the "I was just doing it to get the money" statement than I've heard over the LOLgovernor chatter. Getting out in front of the people and explaining your platform was only worth it to you because there was a check at the end of it? Why didn't you just save everyone the trouble and go speak at the Beck thing? That crowd would have sainted you on the spot and given you more money than you qualified for by showing up at a debate and laying down a turd like that.
posted by Golfhaus at 1:16 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know who else had sworn off debates?
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:16 PM on September 3, 2010


I guess she's suffering from Closed Door Syndrome.

Huh. I'm just going to take a moment here to start the vicious internet rumor that Joel Hodgson moonlights in political ads, with a hairpiece he borrowed from Rod Blagojevich.
posted by cortex at 1:17 PM on September 3, 2010


Protip, Jan -- don't accept that interview invitation from Katie Couric.
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on September 3, 2010


Sarah Palin: Jan Brewer Has the Cajones the President Does'n't Have to Secure Our Borders.
posted by ericb at 1:18 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brewer is polling 20 points ahead of Goddard. They love her in Arizona.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:19 PM on September 3, 2010


Sarah Palin has all the verbal eloquence of an automated email spammer -- You know, I'm absolutely no fan of the woman, but even I have to admit that she has a certain charisma that I can understand why people follow and admire her. She also has an uncanny ability to get under the skin of the people she opposes. I pray she never achieves any elected federal office, but you have to give her her due. She can stir up the pot as good as any of them, and to dismiss her as in-eloquent is to underestimate her and the dunderheads who adore her.
posted by crunchland at 1:19 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


For people who say she's going to win anyway, don't forget that the only reason she is governor is that the previous democratic governor got promoted to the Cabinet. Arizonians have a history of electing Democrats to governor. Her win is, in my opinion, not guaranteed.
posted by zompus at 1:20 PM on September 3, 2010


Is it wrong to feel a little glee?

Yes, it's wrong to feel glee. That's schadenfreude; it's a base reaction, and not one driven by a desire to see the world improved. Jan Brewer is doing what she thinks is right - that's what all humans do, even the insane ones. She's wrong, of course, about what right is; she's demonstrated any number of times her unfitness for public office (in the eyes of this Canadian, at least) because of the terrible things she believes - or pretends to believe - are true.

But that doesn't give anyone a free pass to be mean to her, or not feel sympathy for her as a human being in an uncomfortable situation. Don't engage in the othering of your political opponents; nobody's mind gets changed that way. Be calm and respectful and reasonable. Anything less is uncivilized.
posted by Fraxas at 1:20 PM on September 3, 2010 [14 favorites]


I accidently ... the whole state.
posted by DaddyNewt at 1:20 PM on September 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ken Silverstein's "Tea Party in the Sonora" article in last month's Harper's is quite good (even if he did take that "trees stealing our water" quote out of context).

Interview with Silverstein about the article on Democracy Now.

most everyone can identify a little bit with having your mind go blank in the middle of a sentence

Of course. We've all been stuck there. But not while on TV, reading a prepared statement. And not multiple times.

That TV appearance was worse than I would expect from a high-school candidate for class secretary.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:20 PM on September 3, 2010


"Hello fellow American. This you should vote me. I leave power. Good. Thank you. Thank you. If you vote me, I'm hot." What? "Taxes they'll be lower son. The Democratic vote for me is right thing to do Philadelphia. So do."
—Excerpt from a political speech far less ridiculous than what comes out of Jan Brewer's mouth
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:21 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


A governor who swears off debates should immediately be removed from his or her post and not be eligible to run again.

I mean, fucking seriously? You're not willing to actually support your arguments and face questions about your statements other than predigested, pablum press releases and interviews? Yeah, go fuck yourself and don't come back.

But obviously she'll be voted in office again. Shameful.
posted by splice at 1:21 PM on September 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


What exactly did she say before turning and walking away from the reporters?

I played it several times but couldn't figure it out.
posted by edheil at 1:22 PM on September 3, 2010


I'd probably be torn between schadenfreude and feeling sorry for her if she hadn't lied so much over the years and consistently vilified immigrants. I hope this torpedoes her campaign.
posted by zarq at 1:22 PM on September 3, 2010


Electing morons is not a great political tactic long-term.
posted by unSane at 1:25 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know exactly what happened. If you watch closely, between 8 and 12 second into the first video, she blanks for a moment. She quickly rallies, but (and I know this because the same thing happens to me sometimes) she suddenly got all up into her own head; her mouth is moving fine for the next 20 or so seconds, but it's more or less doing it on its own, because what she's really thinking about more than anything is the fact that she's going to have re-exert control over the mouth-talky-thing and she has no idea how. And that starts a panic loop so that when she does finally give it a go, it's like trying to shift a manual transmission without knowing how to use the clutch.

It's like when you are driving or walking or doing any other action that you have done for so long that it's been relegated to muscle memory, and all of a sudden you think about the fact that you are doing it, you become aware of it, and your conscious mind is in no way ready for that shit. So you start to panic. And then you think about the fact that you are panicking and you are sure everyone is looking at you.

And while, from our perspective, it seemed like she lost her place for maybe five seconds, in the privacy of her head, that moment took hours to pass. Each tick of the second hand she was aware of every single person out there behind those cameras staring at her and her not working mouth.

Normally, I'd commiserate, because it's a really crappy experience to have. But fuck her. She's a bad person, and while I can connect with the awfulness of the moment, I won't ever let my empathy extend as far as feeling sorry for her.
posted by quin at 1:25 PM on September 3, 2010 [19 favorites]


She's what the people want. That's the new face of American political leadership right there.

Bush was always too much of a speaker and a thinker.
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on September 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm guessing someone regrets not picking up one of those speechwriters you always used to see standing around in the parking lot of the East Phoenix Staples.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:26 PM on September 3, 2010 [20 favorites]


And really, there needs to be more backlash against the "I was just doing it to get the money" statement than I've heard over the LOLgovernor chatter.

The woman is a reprehensible politician. Most of us would agree.

But I don't find the video funny because of schadenfreude. I find the video funny for the same reason my neighbor falling off his roof is funny (if he's not hurt): it just makes me laugh. (I hope I could laugh at myself doing the same thing.)

I hope this torpedoes her campaign.

Oh, tears of laughter.

What exactly did she say before turning and walking away from the reporters?

I think she says, "OK, thank you all."

It must be a horrible time to be a rational thinker in Arizona.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:27 PM on September 3, 2010


OK, I downloaded it using Video Download Helper, then played it at half speed in VLC, and finally figured it out: "Kay, thank you all."
posted by edheil at 1:27 PM on September 3, 2010


What got me wasn't so much the blanking out as the sheer pleasure she got out of saying that they were suing the Feds. You see people taking pleasure in suing the government all the time, of course, but not usually when they're also in government.

Add to that that they're suing over healthcare so that people, i.e. YOU, ARIZONAN, don't have to get healthcare, and isn't that great? It all becomes one terrible braincramp.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:28 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pro Tip: If you have problems with public speaking, don't run for governor.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:29 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Brewer insisted later that she has been misquoted. "I never said 'Arizona,' and it's unfortunate that it was construed as 'Arizona.' "

Yeah, really? Are such a dumb #!$? that you don't understand that TV can be taped, and what you said can be replayed by everyone, whenever they want? Oh, let's see... this one for example. A direct quote from that interview:

Inteviewer: Which beheadings IN ARIZONA are you referring to?
Governor fuckhead: Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded. (vacant head nod)


Well what a surprise. Not only stupid, but a damn liar too.

Perfect candidate for governor 30 years running, right?
posted by splice at 1:30 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw this earlier today. I must say, when I saw that blank empty smile and dead eyes as she froze, the eery brain-dead quality of that image just screamed to me...

I want a giant wall-sized poster of this photo subtitled "Republican Sincerity".
posted by XMLicious at 1:30 PM on September 3, 2010


I felt somewhere between schadenfreude and vergüenza ajena over her performance. ¡Damn foreigners with their concise phrases!
posted by birdherder at 1:33 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, the false words you spew, Governor Brewer:
Arizona's Brewer: Most Illegal Immigrants Are 'Drug Mules'.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Caught in a Lie—a Lie About Nazis!

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Takes Away State Domestic Partner Benefits
Says 'God Has Placed Me in This Powerful Position'
.
posted by ericb at 1:35 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fraxas: "But that doesn't give anyone a free pass to be mean to her, or not feel sympathy for her as a human being in an uncomfortable situation."

Yes, hello: I disagree with you. It's not like she's presenting the sixth quarter sales figures to Corporate or gunning for state Lincoln-Douglas champ. She's a pearly-toothed pantsuit plutocrat running on a radical, right-wing platform that marginalizes the desperate on the belief that she was chosen by God for her position. Aside from the crazy-eyed IMGRANTS BEHEADIN PEOPLE bullshit, she's revoked state benefits for GLBT partners, students and disabled people. Her every mistake should be a well-publicized nail in the coffin of her political career.
posted by boo_radley at 1:36 PM on September 3, 2010 [47 favorites]


So when is the media going to use this to deliberately destroy her political career, the way they did to VADM James Stockdale and Howard Dean? Or does that only happen to halfway decent and competent politicians?
posted by vorfeed at 1:37 PM on September 3, 2010 [16 favorites]


Yes, it's wrong to feel glee. That's schadenfreude; it's a base reaction, and not one driven by a desire to see the world improved.

Is general nausea also wrong?
posted by rusty at 1:38 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw this earlier today. I must say, when I saw that blank empty smile and dead eyes as she froze, the eery brain-dead quality of that image just screamed to me...

I want a giant wall-sized poster of this photo subtitled "Republican Sincerity".


Ask and ye shall receive.

(via. I was going to use "All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings," but it kept wrapping.)
posted by mrgrimm at 1:38 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


That video is indeed scary. The number of votes she is likely to get, even scarier. Because the blue is both fair and balanced, I give you a Democrat melting down. Ladies and Gents, introducing Chris Young, candidate for Mayor of Providence RI.
posted by timsteil at 1:40 PM on September 3, 2010


Yes, hello: I disagree with you. It's not like she's presenting the sixth quarter sales figures to Corporate or gunning for state Lincoln-Douglas champ. She's a pearly-toothed pantsuit plutocrat running on a radical, right-wing platform that marginalizes the desperate on the belief that she was chosen by God for her position. Aside from the crazy-eyed IMGRANTS BEHEADIN PEOPLE bullshit, she's revoked state benefits for GLBT partners, students and disabled people. Her every mistake should be a well-publicized nail in the coffin of her political career.

Hear, hear.
posted by kafziel at 1:41 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


VikingSword: THE CONSTITUENCY OF THE GOP - "This is the face of the Past. It's going away. This is not the Future. This is the old, the brain-dead, the desiccated, the dying, the hand from beyond the grave trying to hold on. But its time is gone."

No, it's not the face of the past. It's the face that is probably going to win 37+ seats in the House, 8-9+ in the Senate, and several governorships and legislatures. Then it's also the face that is going to control redistricting next year so that more faces exactly like it have better chances of getting elected or holding onto the seats they already have. So, no. It's the face of the future.

CunningLinguist: But a lot of you guys apparently have never dried during a speech. I count is as one of the top five worst moments in my life.

I count it as an awful moment in my life too, and it's happened more times than I care to admit. But that doesn't make me feel empathy for Jan Brewer.
posted by blucevalo at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


That's schadenfreude; it's a base reaction, and not one driven by a desire to see the world improved.

When you've largely given up hope that the world is going to be improved, seeing people like Jan Brewer (the kind of people who ground away that hope in the first place) hurt and humiliated offers a tiny amount of cold comfort.

In any case, it's time to stop being nice, polite, mamby-pamby liberals and treating people like Brewer and Palin as if they're anything other than vicious sociopaths. They need to be hit hard and often, and either put down or driven in fear back under the backwater rocks they came from.

Bottom line: everytime one of them fails or gets hurt, we win a little.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


"If you thought Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's debate performance was bad, wait til you see the rehearsal footage." [starring Arizona drag queen Barbra Seville].
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I have to admit, I saw the clip when it was first available, and didn't think much of it - didn't think it would turn out to be a thing. Sure it's a little embarrassing - but frankly, it's the glib, smooth ones who will just look you right in the eye, smile, and know that they are going to feed you to the dogs that we should worry about. (On the other hand there are the ones that lie so poorly that they are truly laughable - Palin's "You know - all of them" statement comes to mind).

But considering her politics - the rabid, irrational, name-calling, race-baiting, fear-mongering, spettle-flicked, hypocritical right - y'all go ahead and skewer her as much as you want. I will thoroughly enjoy it.

They are Republicans. They won't respect you if you don't kick the shit out of them, especially when they are down.

You really have to do it. It's your civic responsibility to utterly destroy them, humiliate them, shame them. Drive them before you like rats.
posted by Xoebe at 1:45 PM on September 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Won't matter. There's enough spiteful bile in the electorate to put her over the moon, let alone over the top in an election.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:45 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because the blue is both fair and balanced, I give you a Democrat melting down. Ladies and Gents, introducing Chris Young, candidate for Mayor of Providence RI.

He's not melting down. That's his shtick. He's not really a serious Democratic candidate.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:49 PM on September 3, 2010


So, that's what Jan Brewer looks like. Someone call the Egyptian embassy and tell them we found their missing mummy.

As a funnier man than me once said:

Who gives a damn what she looks like?

It's laughing at what she's like inside that's important.

posted by stet at 1:49 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


For people who say she's going to win anyway, don't forget that the only reason she is governor is that the previous democratic governor got promoted to the Cabinet. Arizonians have a history of electing Democrats to governor. Her win is, in my opinion, not guaranteed.

Nestor Makhno's patented method of winning statewide races in Arizona as a Democrat.


1. Be moderate.
2. Do not lose Maricopa County (Phoenix and its hellish surroundings) by more than a few points.
3. Win by at least 20 points in Pima County (Tucson and the 'Merica hating commies that live there)
4. Pay little to no attention to the other counties. It's flyover country not to mention no one wants to spend time in Yuma or Elfrida. Maybe go to Flagstaff on a hot day.

Congratulations! You are now a Democratic governor of Arizona. The Republicans will continue to send you batshit legislation which you will get to veto.

This is what Goddard will try to do, but it is not going to work since there is no way he will be within a couple points of Brewer in Maricopa County.
posted by nestor_makhno at 1:57 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Then it's also the face that is going to control redistricting next year so that more faces exactly like it have better chances of getting elected or holding onto the seats they already have. So, no. It's the face of the future.

Repeated with even more emphasis on the really scary part.

This, this is one of the things that keeps me up at night.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:58 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


It must be a horrible time to be a rational thinker in Arizona.

Yes, but admittedly that's nothing new.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:59 PM on September 3, 2010


THE CONSTITUENCY OF THE GOP - "This is the face of the Past. It's going away. This is not the Future. This is the old, the brain-dead, the desiccated, the dying, the hand from beyond the grave trying to hold on. But its time is gone."

I pray that you are right (err, but actually 'left,' as in 'progressive). I remain cautious. Palin, Brewer and the Tea Partiers are invoking anti-intellectualism, classicism, racism, etc. as a counter movement against the shift we have witnessed in the past two years. We'll see if they previal. I hope not. But, I shake my head and weep when reading things like the following:
Only 28% Of Americans Can Identify The Chief Justice.
posted by ericb at 2:00 PM on September 3, 2010


If a politician says someone else is lying, no matter how factual of a statement that may be, they will immediately be attacked for sounding like an accusatory, petulant child.

That's a fucking lie and you are a fucking liar.

You just have to say it right.

Also, fuck you Arizona. And all you "bu-bu-but I'm not voting for the plankton with hair" fuckers as well for not protesting, picketing, setting fire to things, or just plain leaving.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:00 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Only 28% Of Americans Can Identify The Chief Justice.

....when given a multiple choice! Argh! Thurgood Marshall??? Really?
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:02 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


1. She's mean.
2. She's dismissive of anyone and everyone who disagrees with her.
3. She's paranoid and veangeful.
4. She's a hundred kinds of stoooooopid.
5. She professes to be the "good " kind of 'Murcan - you know, apple pie and Jesus - but betrays herself by not doing American things like answering to a free press. ( Pretty common tactic among the TeaBaggers, BTW.)
6. She's a racist, a homophobe, and a xenophobe.







She'll win.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:04 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Seems like the only reasonable explanation": AZ Governor's Debate--Behind The Scenes.
posted by ericb at 2:11 PM on September 3, 2010


Only 28% Of Americans Can Identify The Chief Justice.

Assuming there were four multiple choice options, that means the results are just barely statistically better than guessing, no?
posted by joe lisboa at 2:18 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


God, that was hideous, and so, it seems, is she. First thing that sprang to mind was from The Thick Of It: "If he shits, I'll give you 500 quid."

There's also a full version of the Paxman vs Swain interview on the Thick Of It DVD.

And for anyone who thinks Jeremy Paxman, when interviewing actual people, goes any easier, or less scathing, there's always my perennial favourite, which I'll happily link to at the drop of a hat: Paxman vs Ann Coulter. What I wouldn't give to see someone like Paxman given the chance to take on this Brewer abomination.
posted by Len at 2:21 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jan Brewer is doing what she thinks is right -

Cite, please.

I think she's doing whatever she thinks needs to be done in order to stay in power. Did she really think it was right to claim, falsely (i.e. lie), that people in Arizona were being beheaded by illegal immigrants? For instance?
posted by rtha at 2:21 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Then it's also the face that is going to control redistricting next year so that more faces exactly like it have better chances of getting elected or holding onto the seats they already have. So, no. It's the face of the future.


Nope. Arizona passed Prop 106 in 2000 which created a bipartisan redistricting commission instead of leaving it up to the legislature. We do occasionally make good decisions.
posted by nestor_makhno at 2:24 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I reserve my right to feel good about hateful people being embarrassed or destroyed politically.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:27 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Mysterious Millionaire Gives Jan Brewer $1.5M For Elocution Lessons

posted by anniecat at 2:30 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fraxas: Jan Brewer is doing what she thinks is right - that's what all humans do, even the insane ones.
That's where you're hopelessly wrong, and you should be ashamed to be defending her.

Yes, the blue thinks she's a wrong-headed dangerous old biddy. But tellingly, Jan Brewer herself thinks she's wrong. Her brush off to the reporters, her refusing to answer direct questions including about her own quoted statements, her refusal of more debates, and her pulling of ad dollars from the station investigating her possible conflict of interest... these are all signs she knows perfectly well that she's wrong, that she's lying, that she has something to hide.

People do things they know are wrong, you understand that right? It's why we're (rightly, IMO) so harsh on hypocrites: it belies that they don't believe they should follow the same rules they demand the rest of us follow.
posted by hincandenza at 2:30 PM on September 3, 2010 [17 favorites]


She certainly puts the Goober in Gubernatorial debates. Hyuk Hyuk.
posted by hellojed at 2:31 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not a good day for the controversial Arizona gov, who has now sworn off debates.

It seems to me her opponent's optimum strategy here would be to refuse to recognize this, and show up to debate an empty lectern. It cannot hurt his chances, and it will make sensational TV.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:32 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


Man, find me an immigrant who would blank like that. My vote is to Jorge the gardener for AZ governor.
posted by telstar at 2:32 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the bright side she could get any one of the many jobs opening up in Arizona as a farm worker or day laborer.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:33 PM on September 3, 2010


In the beginning of the clip, she gets all still because she thinks if she stays all still, time will stop moving until she can gather herself up.
posted by anniecat at 2:34 PM on September 3, 2010


On the bright side she could get any one of the many jobs opening up in Arizona as a farm worker or day laborer.

She can't even speak English. What makes you think she can speak Spanish?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:35 PM on September 3, 2010


It looks to me like she lost her train of thought because someone was doing something to her under the desk. Like tickling her feet, of course.
posted by The World Famous at 2:35 PM on September 3, 2010


She said the only reason she debated him on Wednesday is she had to to qualify for more than $1.7 million in public funds for her campaign

So not only will she not answer reporter's questions (which seems to be the Palin model - Angle does it and she's getting away with it too) and not let people see her debate, the only reason she agreed to in the first place was for free (i.e. tax payer) money for her campaign. Stay. Classy. I try not to generalize, but there are a lot of white female candidates in the GOP right now that don't have to answer questions or actually encounter anyone who actually might disagree with them and they keep getting elected. Just pander to people's fears and exit stage left. I never thought Palin could get away with this in a presidential election but I'm beginning to have my doubts.

I thought we had it bad in Alabama, but your governor is way worse Arizona. Kudos.
posted by dig_duggler at 2:42 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Born in California, Brewer is a graduate of Glendale Community College.

I would have thought they would have had a public speaking requirement, at the least. I think a lot of the nation's community colleges and a person's ability to self-teach, as well as life experience, but how this person ever got to be governor without at least a bachelor's in something (which is extremely easy to do), I don't understand. She is way out of her league.
posted by anniecat at 2:43 PM on September 3, 2010


Any politician who refuses to participate in a reasonable number of fairly-conducted debates has automatically lost my vote, irrespective of party, tactical considerations, or jurisdiction.

I think all the dumping on her views and on Arizona obscures an independent basis as to why she is unsuitable for office, and makes this seem like those criticizing her performance are just doing so because of her politics.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 2:44 PM on September 3, 2010


Oh Christ, how will this make any difference at all? Sarah Palin has all the verbal eloquence of an automated email spammer and yet she is is still welcomed with applause and bear hugs.

Sarah Palin, since entering the public spotlight has: failed to become vice president, and then quit her job as governor before even completing her term. Since then she's preached to the choire on Fox News, stirred shit on Facebook, and been received with open arms... at rallies that have been hand picked with supporters.

Sarah Palin actually is extremely verbally able, if not eloquent, it's just not the sort of eloquence that appeals to people who read Metafilter (maybe read, full-stop). She's got a dog whistle voice, and she knows how to blow it.

My dad, a life-long GOPer said he would not vote before he voted for Sarah Palin.

All of the doom and gloom about the incipient tea party sweep? I have my doubts. I think Democrats will suffer some losses, but that the tea party is too fringe, and by extension draws regular GOPers too far to the fringe in an effort to appease the outsides of their constituency, to really appeal to centrists. Where they have an advantage is that they're not an incumbent, and I think a lot of undecided and apathetic voters may vote for them based on that. But they're shrill. And they're incompetent. And they have no actual power. They can get into office, cut taxes, cut services, and still be left with a shriveling economy and a bunch of angry, poor people (now minus social services). Any victory they have will be pyrrhic for the Republican party.

At least that's my prediction for the next two elections - minor gains in '10, perhaps major losses in '12.
posted by codacorolla at 2:48 PM on September 3, 2010


In other Arizona news: DOJ Sues Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio For Refusing To Cooperate With Civil Rights Probe
posted by homunculus at 2:49 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I also love about 2/3 of the way through the clip, when she has that oh-crap look on her face and some instinct just kicks in to throw in as many base words as possible - 'push back', 'federal government', 'Obama health care'
posted by dig_duggler at 2:50 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, how did I not hear about the beheading thing until now? Watching the Democrat assert that there are no violent beheadings in Arizona is on the same level as that Onion sketch about the anti-skullfucking bill.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:14 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


One time, I had to interview a college basketball coach. Not a big name, but worthy of a decent-sized article for a big newspaper. Earlier in the week, I had profiled his best player with (I thought) a damn good article. Now today was the big game.

I had a few minutes with him before the game.

And. I. Just. Blanked.

Couldn't ask him a coherent question. Couldn't even speak, really. You could have asked me what my own name was and I would have had trouble answering you. Drugs and alcohol were not involved. Just a brain cramp. A brain Charlie Horse, if you will. All I could do was walk away going, "Dude, brain, WTF? Don't let me down like that!"

So, a teeny bit of sympathy for Jan Brewer, just as a fellow human being. I only wish she would offer the same teeny bits of sympathy for others.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:19 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


From homunculus' link: "The suit comes after the DOJ gave Arpaio’s office a September deadline to supply all documents requested for its investigation. Arpaio’s office responded with a letter expressing surprise that the DOJ feels “entitled to any document it wants, to access any facility it wishes, and to interview any witness it wants, without limitation…is simply unreasonable.”

The brashness with which this guy ignores the demands of the Department of Justice is just astonishing to me. How the hell is he still employed?
posted by quin at 3:20 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Jan Brewer is doing what she thinks is right - that's what all humans do, even the insane ones.

You have led a very sheltered life. I have met quite a few people who know they are doing the wrong thing and enjoy it. I've met people who scammed innocents out of their money and bragged about it; I've met people who beat up their girlfriends and other people and bragged about that - there are millions of such people in the world, and I don't believe they're all classically "insane" - I think there are a lot of self-consciously evil people out there.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:21 PM on September 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


From what I recall, the beheading thing was debunked because, while they have found bodies in the desert who were missing their heads, the way the human form decomposes is such that the neck weakens quickly during the process and critters drag the head off away from the rest of the body as part of their feeding.

So yes, bodies have been found without heads. The reason they have no heads, however, isn't necessarily forceful separation while alive.
posted by hippybear at 3:25 PM on September 3, 2010


Jan Brewer is doing what she thinks is right - that's what all humans do

It's been pointed out already, but I felt like restating it:

This is not even remotely true.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:30 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think Brewer saw this Machete teaser and thought it was a documentary. NSFW for tons of beheadings (and a bit of nudity).
posted by brundlefly at 3:33 PM on September 3, 2010


Jan Brewer, just as a fellow human being

This is subject to debate.
posted by dersins at 3:37 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


ZING!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:39 PM on September 3, 2010


(in reply to lupus_yonderboy:)
We might just be picking nits here, but I'd argue that the people who beat and scam other people and brag about it have tragically warped, not to mention despicable, ideas about what right is, and how much other people matter. Again, they're to be educated, not spat upon. But that's not the point I was trying to make here.

I was trying to say that this thread seems to be succumbing to that othering thing again, that separation of the world into 'us' and 'them', the divisiveness that they started and you're helping them perpetuate. Tea-partiers are citizens too! Tragically wrong-headed, bigoted, undereducated citizens, but citizens nonetheless, with genuine fears that need to be addressed in a positive way. C'mon people now; smile on your brother. Everybody get together and try to love one another right now.
posted by Fraxas at 3:49 PM on September 3, 2010


Assuming there were four multiple choice options, that means the results are just barely statistically better than guessing, no?

The majority (53%) admitted they did not know. It was a small percentage (4, 6, & 8%) who chose one of the other three options (Reid, Stevens, Marshall). So of people who thought they knew, it was a significant percentage who were right...still not great, but hardly surprising.

Carly Fiorina, Sharon Angle, Jan Brewer, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann. Hm.

Does someone want to expand on this?
posted by mdn at 3:49 PM on September 3, 2010


People do things they know are wrong, you understand that right? It's why we're (rightly, IMO) so harsh on hypocrites: it belies that they don't believe they should follow the same rules they demand the rest of us follow.

Righteous anger is a sign of helplessness. When there's nothing you can do, people go into a rage, as if to cover up their impotence. But it's not helpful. In my experience, the angry people are the ones who stubbornly insist on repeating the same mistakes. They even get a weird satisfaction in losing, because they enjoy the feeling of hating their opponent, so the more evil they appear, the more pleasurable it is to hate them. But that's a poor substitute for actual change.
posted by AlsoMike at 3:52 PM on September 3, 2010


I know this is dumb, but I can't watch the video. There's something about watching people publicly embarrass themselves that is a big trigger for me. I'll be cringing all night. (Seriously, I used to have to leave the room during the guitar solo scene at the Enchantment Under the Sea in Back to the Future.)

Can someone summarize what happened here? Is there a transcript I might read? Thanks!
posted by iamkimiam at 3:54 PM on September 3, 2010


Can someone summarize what happened here? Is there a transcript I might read? Thanks!

Just watch the video and imagine that someone is, um, tickling her feet under the desk, and it's more funny than cringeworthy.
posted by The World Famous at 4:02 PM on September 3, 2010


Fraxas: "But that doesn't give anyone a free pass to be mean to her, or not feel sympathy for her as a human being in an uncomfortable situation."

Since when in the hell do I need a pass from you? She has no sympathy from me.
posted by spaltavian at 4:07 PM on September 3, 2010


No matter how strongly you feel about her immigration bill, it's hard not to feel for her.

No, it's... not that hard.
posted by delmoi at 4:10 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Note to all public speakers: if you foolishly don't bring notes of some kind, and your brain goes blank, just pause, look thoughtful, and say "Actually, let me put this a different way." Then start over.
posted by davejay at 4:11 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Again, they're to be educated, not spat upon.

Jesus Christ for the last time, no they are not and yes they certainly the fuck are.

Is Jan Brewer six years old? No? She's an adult? Realllly. Well then it is up to her to know right from wrong, be a big girl, and make her own decisions about the world. That she makes consistently toxic decisions about the world shows you how she sees the world.

You want to be a weeping milquetoast while the republic goes down the toilet then be my guest, but I am sick and tired of hearing this dead fucking air wheeled out every time we run into the school bully.

We would all love for the truth to out and for the righteous to be rewarded using only The Light and The Truth as our staff, but her nineteen point advantage in the pools tells us otherwise.

Cut em down and shut em down. All of them. And unless you havent been paying attention during the whole of the last decade, they are most certainly a "them."

And if you cant commit to the fact that sometimes being on the side of what is right requires actually committing to a side and doing the work, then do the rest of us a favor and stay out of it. Because you are not helping.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:11 PM on September 3, 2010 [21 favorites]


Fraxas: "We might just be picking nits here, but I'd argue that the people who beat and scam other people and brag about it have tragically warped, not to mention despicable, ideas about what right is, and how much other people matter. Again, they're to be educated, not spat upon. But that's not the point I was trying to make here."

Nuh uh. Narcissistic evil people really can't be educated. They believe that whatever the decide to do at any given moment is "right," and they will say or do whatever they have to to try to control whatever situation they're in. You can show them clearly recorded things they've done or said, and they will deny that they said or did them in the face of incontrovertible proof.

What they need is to be stripped of any ability to influence public policy (not to mention access to public money). It's bad enough dealing with their evil in small, local ways, quite another thing to have that evil become systemic.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:16 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


After all the damn buildup in the media last night and today, I was expecting so much more.

I mean, that's it?
Call me when she tells a Hispanic reporter to go back where he came from or something. This is just a disappointment.
posted by madajb at 4:19 PM on September 3, 2010


I would have thought they would have had a public speaking requirement, at the least.
Apparently that's not a job requirement for radiology technicians.
posted by FormerMermaid at 4:24 PM on September 3, 2010


Righteous anger is a sign of helplessness. When there's nothing you can do, people go into a rage, as if to cover up their impotence. But it's not helpful. In my experience, the angry people are the ones who stubbornly insist on repeating the same mistakes. They even get a weird satisfaction in losing, because they enjoy the feeling of hating their opponent, so the more evil they appear, the more pleasurable it is to hate them. But that's a poor substitute for actual change.

I do not think that this is true. I think that righteous anger comes from believing that one's opponents or the objects of one's criticism have knowingly and intentionally stepped out of bounds in a manner that sanctions retribution.

When I'm righteously angry about overtly malicious racism or monstrously selfish behavior and deception I don't think that it's because I'm helpless; I think that on the contrary it's because I believe that my response is unrestrained by the moderation required when it's possible that it's an unintentional wrong or a mistake. I feel righteously angry when I feel that I have a step-by-step proof that someone is intentionally violating some ethical or moral principle. (Sometimes it turns out that I'm mistaken but I'm pretty sure that on most occasions I've been correct. I don't reach this conclusion very frequently, though.)
posted by XMLicious at 4:28 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


(That is, I don't frequently reach this conclusion that someone is unambiguously and intentionally breaking even their own rules of right and wrong.)
posted by XMLicious at 4:41 PM on September 3, 2010


She can have my sympathy for being tragically fucked in the head, or she can be governor of a state and have her agenda considered seriously as if it were the work of someone who is fit for the job. But not both.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:43 PM on September 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Her refusal to talk to the press afterward reminds me of how she handled press inquiries about her decision to ignore the unanimous recommendation of the Arizona Clemency Board that she release William Macumber.

How lucky for her that Arizona voters don't seem to care about this pattern of ducking important questions.
posted by bearwife at 4:45 PM on September 3, 2010


codacorolla: All of the doom and gloom about the incipient tea party sweep? I have my doubts. I think Democrats will suffer some losses, but that the tea party is too fringe, and by extension draws regular GOPers too far to the fringe in an effort to appease the outsides of their constituency, to really appeal to centrists.

It's not going to be a "tea party sweep." It will be a GOP sweep. There's a difference. Not all GOP candidates are Tea Party candidates, despite the temptation to stereotype. Many are standard GOP candidates that have always run, and they have excellent chances.

The GOP is disavowing and running ads against the tea party senatorial candidate in Delaware so that the mainstream (moderate) GOP candidate will win the seat. If the moderate wins the primary, he will win the general. He's an incumbent and Delaware voters like him.

Carly Fiorina has an excellent chance of kicking Barbara Boxer to the curb in California and nobody would call her a tea party candidate despite her various gestures at pandering to that constituency. Likewise with the Republican candidates running against Patty Murray in Washington and Russ Feingold in Wisconsin.

The GOP will sweep. At least the House. Pelosi will be back to hosting fundraising dinners on the back lawn of her manse in Pacific Heights. The GOP will have almost clean control over redistricting in 2011.
posted by blucevalo at 4:49 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wasn't there a professional football (American) player who froze up like that in a big post-game interview? Who was that?
posted by punkfloyd at 4:52 PM on September 3, 2010


I just logged in to say that I did this exact same thing just four hours ago in a job interview. It was my third interview of the day at the same company. My personal blankout lasted longer than Brewer's. I just spit out words random words - Palinstyle - for what seemed like 2 minutes. "Manage groups... process... development... freedom... god bless us... 9/11... " THen I stopped, said "I have no idea what happened just then" and began speaking like a normal human being. But my whole brain really did just shut down for that period of time and tried to reboot. It was very, very embarrassing and I've been breaking out into sweats all day when I think about it.

If anyone should feel sympathy for Jan Brewer today it should be me. But as many above have said, nope.
posted by monkeystronghold at 5:00 PM on September 3, 2010


I wish Janet Napolitano would have served her entire term. I don't know if it would have made a difference, but maybe it would've helped to keep Brewer out of the spotlight.
posted by mullacc at 5:16 PM on September 3, 2010


I fear we have come to a dangerous moment. You have two options vote for the sane pragmatic democrats who won't give you everything you want or vote for a bunch of demagogues who will destroy all that you love. I remember the I don't give a shit, ot doesnt matter vibe I hear from my fellow Democrats in 2000. It matters it always matters. So go
give some money to the democrats and stand up for Reid and Pelosi. They arnt the lesser of two evils; they are the marginally good taking on the scoundrels and terrible. Hold the line like Stonewall Jackson now and live to fight another day. Defeated and the narrative will be that the modest progress we saw these last two years was over reach and we won't see the light of progressive government for a hundred years. So I say open up your wallets for the DCCC, Act Blue and the DSCC. Get out there and get fired up for one more rally for Barack and Michelle. The conservative movement has powerful, entrenched interests in DC and it will take Democratic election victory upon victory to roll them back. Now get up and get going.
posted by humanfont at 5:30 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


But that doesn't give anyone a free pass to be mean to her, or not feel sympathy for her as a human being in an uncomfortable situation. Don't engage in the othering of your political opponents; nobody's mind gets changed that way. Be calm and respectful and reasonable. Anything less is uncivilized.

When you are confronting barbarians, being civilized is a bug, not a feature. And if no one's mind is changed by othering your opponents, explain the 10 point Republican advantage on the generic congressional ballot after a whither 2 years of accusing the president and the democratic party of being a Muslim plot to impose communist sharia law on Real America. Or explain why Jan Brewer is 20 points ahead in the polls -- why it's *worth it* for her to lie about Latino immigrants.

What a sickening piece of opportunistic Glendale Republican ignorant trash. There, how's that for othering?
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:33 PM on September 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


But that doesn't give anyone a free pass to be mean to her, or not feel sympathy for her as a human being in an uncomfortable situation. Don't engage in the othering of your political opponents; nobody's mind gets changed that way. Be calm and respectful and reasonable. Anything less is uncivilized.

GUYS I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY THE DEMOCRATS CANT GET THEIR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA THROUGH! WE WERE SUPER NICE AND BAKED COOKIES FOR OUR OPPONENTS BUT THEY DIDNT LOVE US OR HUG US AND NOW I WEEP.

Politics has been a contact sport since before Brutus fileted his dear friend Caesar. Pretending that there was an imaginary past where this was not true is delusion.
posted by atrazine at 5:37 PM on September 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


How lucky for her that Arizona voters don't seem to care about this pattern of ducking important questions.
posted by bearwife at 4:45 PM on September 3 [+] [!]


Yeah, I live here and I'm no sympathizer, let me tell you. But I'm pretty sure this applies to voters all across this big beautiful country of ours. :)
posted by diocletian at 5:48 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


GUYS I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY THE DEMOCRATS CANT GET THEIR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA THROUGH! WE WERE SUPER NICE AND BAKED COOKIES FOR OUR OPPONENTS BUT THEY DIDNT LOVE US OR HUG US AND NOW I WEEP.

I worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill for a few years. I used to hear that rationale from them, too, when discussing underhanded, dishonest tactics. Anyone who engages in such tactics and justifies them by saying that politics is a "contact sport" is a worthless piece of trash who should not govern and should be ousted as soon as possible - no matter what party they belong to.
posted by The World Famous at 5:54 PM on September 3, 2010


My theory is that the Tea Party and the GOP are playing 'good cop, bad cop': The Tea Party is so crazy and fringe that they are redefining the definition of 'normal'.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:56 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


She doesn't know it's wrong. She thinks that what serves her and her purposes is right, and is aware that people disagree. Hence the dissembling and running- she doesn't think she's doing wrong, she simply doesn't believe that people have the right to call her on it and doesn't want to deal with dissent.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2010


I think that on the contrary it's because I believe that my response is unrestrained by the moderation required when it's possible that it's an unintentional wrong or a mistake.

I don't see how this contradicts anything I said. It's taboo to enjoy hate, normally we expect moderation. When a major moral transgression occurs, the situation becomes ambiguous. You can throw off the normal constraints and indulge yourself freely, but if someone finds it unseemly, you have plausible deniability: "I don't enjoy being angry, but morality demands it. I am simply doing my duty to speak out against evil." First, it's suspicious when this duty is performed excessively, with just a bit too much enthusiasm; and second, who made it your duty to begin with? Don't claim you're just following orders when you gave them.

I don't mean to invoke this taboo. My point is that this kind of enjoyment is for those who are convinced we can't win so we might as well take the consolation prize. Classic liberal defeatism - nothing has happened and we're already reaching for the pathetic comforts of losing. No. Victory or death.
posted by AlsoMike at 6:09 PM on September 3, 2010


Yes, it's wrong to feel glee. That's schadenfreude; it's a base reaction

Schadenfreude isn't a base reaction, it's my primary sustenance. What do you want me to do? Starve?
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:24 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm on the one mission
To get a politician
To honor or he's a gonner
By the time I get to Arizona

posted by Burhanistan at 7:06 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Simply put, she was a gutless coward during and after the debate. The spin she's placed on her craven performance is even worse. And yet, she's considered a viable candidate in Arizona.

One can only hope Arizona's citizens aren't that stupid.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:09 PM on September 3, 2010


wtf? her maiden name was DRINKWINE, and she married a BREWER. i rest my case.
posted by iboxifoo at 7:27 PM on September 3, 2010


humanfont: "Hold the line like Stonewall Jackson now and live to fight another day."

That doesn't work on so many levels.
posted by telstar at 8:19 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're on her side.

Or you're on Machete's.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


One can only hope Arizona's citizens aren't that stupid.

Well, they did elect her the first time. That is to say, the old, white ones did.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:24 PM on September 3, 2010


I don't see how this contradicts anything I said. It's taboo to enjoy hate, normally we expect moderation.

For one thing, I didn't say anything about hate. A parent can be righteously angry with a child's selfish behavior, for example.

You are conflating righteous anger with some kind of hate and some kind of enjoyment; neither enjoyment nor hate is necessary to be righteously angry. You really, really want to frame it as always being some kind of debaucherous personal indulgence but that's not essential to what it is.

When a major moral transgression occurs, the situation becomes ambiguous. You can throw off the normal constraints and indulge yourself freely...

No, it's the other way around: when you become certain that someone's behavior is intentional rather than accidental or unwitting, the ambiguity disappears and you can act as is appropriate towards whatever the behavior is.

First, it's suspicious when this duty is performed excessively, with just a bit too much enthusiasm; and second, who made it your duty to begin with? Don't claim you're just following orders when you gave them.

...You yourself are the one who made it your duty. If people think that they have any duties at all I would expect that for most of them opposing wrong is high up there on the list.

I guess it's bad to do things excessively, I suppose that's sort of the definition of "excessive", and it's bad to disavow responsibility for one's own actions, but why do those things inherently have anything to do with righteous anger? Unless you're simply defining righteous anger as excessive and dis-associative, in which case you should just say so.

Is this a roundabout way to advance some kind of relativism and say that one person cannot judge another? It's fine for you to have that belief but it's really not helpful to try to redefine other words for the rest of us to fit your worldview.
posted by XMLicious at 8:26 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't find it funny because, while it is sufficiently transgressive, I do not find her anywhere close to benign.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:28 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


FormlessOne: One can only hope Arizona's citizens aren't that stupid.
dunkadunc: Well, they did elect her the first time.

Arizona never elected her for Governor. As Secretary of State she was next in line when Janet Napolitano left the office. Maybe Arizonans will scrutinize her a bit more for Governor than they did for SoS.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:49 PM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Carly Fiorina, Sharon Angle, Jan Brewer, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann. Hm.

- Does someone want to expand on this?


I was curious about this too. There are a lot of really stupid Republicans out there. Some of them are women. What is your point?
posted by naoko at 8:51 PM on September 3, 2010


Jan Brewer is doing what she thinks is right - that's what all humans do, even the insane ones. She's wrong, of course, about what right is; she's demonstrated any number of times her unfitness for public office (in the eyes of this Canadian, at least) because of the terrible things she believes - or pretends to believe - are true.

Don't you think it matters whether she actually believes or just pretends to believe? You might say she's doing what she thinks it right is she actually believes it, but if she's only pretending to believe it, shes doing what she thinks is expedient.
posted by layceepee at 8:53 PM on September 3, 2010


I was curious about this too. There are a lot of really stupid Republicans out there. Some of them are women. What is your point?

The Republican Party (strongly in the grip of men) likes to put forth fembots as token women/mascots?
posted by dunkadunc at 8:56 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You have two options vote for the sane pragmatic democrats who won't give you everything you want or vote for a bunch of demagogues who will destroy all that you love. . . Hold the line like Stonewall Jackson now and live to fight another day.

That's right! The progressive Democrats of the 21st Century are like the moderate Confederates of the 1860s. And the other guys are worse.
posted by layceepee at 8:59 PM on September 3, 2010


"Is there something wrong with the world 'lie?'"

Well, here's the thing: Democrats are big fucking pussies.
posted by bardic at 9:59 PM on September 3, 2010


You really, really want to frame it as always being some kind of debaucherous personal indulgence but that's not essential to what it is.

No, not at all. If some kinds of righteous anger don't include some enjoyment, then it's not a consolation prize in place of the real satisfaction of winning, so it doesn't matter to me. I personally doubt that that's very common, even the name gives it away: "I'm righteously angry, not the bad, unrighteous kind, so it's OK." It's precisely this need to add a qualifier, the justificatory move which is most suspect -- it's something you tell yourself to excuse a little illicit enjoyment or satisfaction on the side, which manifests itself as just a bit too much enthusiasm for anger. This excess doesn't even need to be all that excessive, because people often know that getting too caught up in it gives them away. These small transgressions matter because I think they rob us of our desire for the real satisfaction of winning.

Is this a roundabout way to advance some kind of relativism...

I wrote "Victory or death" in my last comment, so you can safely assume that I'm OK with thinking the other side is wrong and them losing. My whole point is question whether righteous anger is really motivating toward that end, maybe it's really a way of accepting and coping with our assumed helplessness. I don't think we should accept that, but that's me, you might think differently.
posted by AlsoMike at 11:20 PM on September 3, 2010


It's pretty clear that a goat has more conscience than Brewer in any case.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:23 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


humanfont: "Hold the line like Stonewall Jackson now and live to fight another day."

That doesn't work on so many levels.


They took MLK and the Lincoln Memorial, I'm taking Jackson standing like a stone wall, the rebel yell and their confederate flag. As Howard Dean once said, yearghh.
posted by humanfont at 2:23 AM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you want to lose an arm, and then die before the war is over, and also for your arm to buried separately from your body, and for the house you died in to be visited by a mix of slightly creepy Civil War junkies and bored people driving up I-95 (and for the folks who run the place to put the American flag at half-mast on the anniversary of your death - I have seen this. The mind boggles), and to be awkwardly celebrated by Virginians as one-third of Lee-Jackson-King Day (this is a real thing, y'all)...then you're welcome to it, I guess.
posted by naoko at 6:17 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


naoko the State of Virginia celebrates Lee-Jackson day on Friday before MLK.
posted by humanfont at 7:24 AM on September 4, 2010


The Republican Party (strongly in the grip of men) likes to put forth fembots as token women/mascots?

Are the male tea party/ GOP candidates who say equally worrisome things dudebots, then? Or do the guys just not say crazy stuff?
posted by mdn at 8:48 AM on September 4, 2010


Oh, they're evil and stupid too.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:30 AM on September 4, 2010


If some kinds of righteous anger don't include some enjoyment, then it's not a consolation prize in place of the real satisfaction of winning, so it doesn't matter to me. I personally doubt that that's very common,

Possibly we're just looking at different things, then, because I see righteous anger all the time. Tea Partiers asserting that others are intentionally violating the Constitution, people who are outraged at the "Ground Zero Mosque" because they just know that "they" - The Muslims - are cavorting with glee in their desecration of holy ground, liberals talking about health care companies denying coverage to children or people who become sick, anti-smoking people who blisteringly indict smokers without apparently realizing that they're being as contemptuously moralistic as Gilded Age teetotalers, liberals who seethe with rage at conservatives who proclaim they're "defending marriage" when they're actually trying to destroy same-sex marriage, open source software advocates angry at controlling behavior by commercial vendors (and who then vengefully pirate commercial software and spread it as widely across the net as possible)...

Those are the kind of things I'm including in my analysis of righteous anger so if you're looking at a much rarer phenomenon it makes sense that we're reaching different conclusions.
posted by XMLicious at 11:36 AM on September 4, 2010


Jan Brewer: 'I Misspoke' About Beheadings.

No, you didn't misspeak. You fuckin' lied.
posted by ericb at 11:44 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Please lay off Brewer when it comes to her education.
posted by nestor_makhno at 11:50 AM on September 4, 2010


Agreed On the education front after all W had a masters from Harvard and a bachelors from Yale.
posted by humanfont at 12:02 PM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're on her side.

Or you're on Machete's.


I would vote for Danny Trejo for governor over Jan Brewer. Without hesitation.
posted by EarBucket at 1:12 PM on September 4, 2010


I have no problem with the fact that she has a G.E.D.; it is often a sign of someone who is unusually driven. However, I view her limited pursuit of education after that as one of many possible signals of her intellect and learning. The cited article refers to "Dr. Richard Carmona, Mary Lou Retton, Gov. Jim Florio, Michael J. Fox, Gov. Ruth Minner, Waylon Jennings and Bill Cosby." I strongly suspect Carmona went on to get an advanced degree, and I know Florio and Cosby did. As to the others, dunno.

Of course there are plenty of people who have high school diplomas and Ivy degrees who are not terribly bright; they're not panaceas or proofs that anyone is smart. That's not to say it's not probative.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 3:27 PM on September 4, 2010


I just saw Machete and, cartoon violence aside, it's a pretty awesome 'fuck you' to anti-immigration politics.
posted by codacorolla at 6:56 PM on September 4, 2010


I have two favorite Schadenfreude public speaking fails, because I am a bad person without the capacity for empathy.

1. When I was in high school, our county had one student representative on the board of education. Candidates would compete and work their way up to a countywide vote by all the students. The candidates had a q-and-a session with an interviewer that was recorded and then everyone in every school was required to watch it and then vote. One girl who I'll never forget just completely blew the question. I don't recall exactly what she said, except that it didn't make any sense. Then she was quiet for a while. Then she asked the interviewer if they could start over. "No." The end.

2. At a district toastmasters humorous speech contest, the last contestant started out by making some racist jokes that really didn't go over well. Then he started dancing around the stage as part of his speech, but he backed into the decorations behind him. It was a trellis that was not well supported, and it started rocking. The audience looked on in horror, but we were all like deer in the headlights. He saw in our eyes that something was wrong, and he turned around just as the trellis and its frippery crashed down on him. To his credit, he got up and finished his speech.
posted by jewzilla at 9:28 PM on September 5, 2010


naoko the State of Virginia celebrates Lee-Jackson day on Friday before MLK.

Oops, yeah, looks like L-J-K day ended in 2000 - I just remember it from school. Thanks for something, Governor Gilmore.
posted by naoko at 8:16 PM on September 6, 2010


I had a thought today that there should be a web site called, "Tea Bagger or Machete" based on the fact that some of the more lurid xenophobic urban legends invoked by Tea Party folks are indistinguishable from Rodriguez's satire/homage to the exploitation movie. But then, I realized that it can certainly be expanded to include minorities via other grindhouse films. The problem is that you'd have to have an option for "both" to be fair. After all, Bill O'Reilly's lesbian gangs sound suspiciously like Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill!
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:06 PM on September 7, 2010


Brewer's support grows after debate
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:23 PM on September 8, 2010


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