Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some thoughts on Arizona as a "laughing stock"

Seriously, Arizona? Really? Do you have any idea what you're doing and how it looks to the rest of us?

Let me start by saying: Janet Napolitano was a far from perfect governor of Arizona, but as a centrist Democratic in a state where the legislature makes John Boehner seem progressive, she played a vital role in keeping the craptastic far-right agenda from being enacted.

It's also important to note, as Randall Amster said on HuffingtonPost.com:
...she hasn't always endeared herself to progressives in the state. She's favored the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, opposed gay marriage, and failed to take on directly the worst of the state's politicos such as the renegade so-called "toughest sheriff" and ultra-conservative legislators. She also supports the death penalty as well as a pro-development agenda, and has done next to nothing on green energy and resource conservation.
When she left the state to become Secretary of Homeland Security, many of us Arizonans shuddered at the idea of what was coming next.

[It is important to take this opportunity to remind you, Friendlies, that I no longer live in Arizona - hence my Twitter name @JamesNewmanNYC - but, I did live there during the last election.]

You see, *this* ... the shuddering at the idea of what would become of our state ... is the precise reason why Arizona desperately needs to create the post of Lieutenant Governor. If a governor leaves for any reason, a Lieutenant Governor in (most likely) the same party would be promoted to governor - thus, carrying on the legacy of the current governor.

Being that there is no Lieutenant Governor in Arizona, when a governor leaves the office for any reason, by law the Secretary of State takes the oath of office. Now, when Democratic governor Janet Napolitano left to become Secretary of Homeland Security, all of her work for and dedication to the state was thrown into 'reverse' when Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer [R.] became governor.

Jan Brewer ... now, *there's* a character.

Jan Brewer is a laughing stock to most Arizonans. Rumored to have gained the office of Secretary of State as a "Miss Congeniality prize", Brewer was seemingly stretched to the reaches of her experience and knowledge in that office. Now that she is governor, it's apparent by most that she can't manage her way out of a paper bag, much less govern a state.

Do you remember when I said that Arizona is the state where the legislature makes John Boehner seem progressive? Take that kernel of knowledge, add to it a Republican Governor who wouldn't say 'shit' if she had a mouth full of it - and what do you get?

First, there is the new law passed by the legislature targeting Latinos whereby any law enforcement officer can stop you without due cause and ask you "for your papers" to prove you have the right to be in this country. What is this? Nazi Germany? Are you kidding me with this?

When former governor Janet Napolitano was on The Rachel Maddow Show recently, Rachel asked her about this "papers" law. Secretary Napolitano said:
I think I vetoed things like that at least twice. And I did because first of all, immigration is primarily federal — not exclusively, but primarily federal. But, secondly, it doesn’t allow law enforcement to focus on where law enforcement needs to focus and to prioritize the way law enforcement needs the ability to prioritize for the protection of the public safety. There were other reasons as well. But it was no surprise to me when I was governor of Arizona that by and large, law enforcement — the men and women who are in charge of protecting public safety — oppose legislation like that.
It is unclear whether or not governor Jan will follow suit and veto this bill. The Arizona Republic is reporting:
The governor has been mum on whether she will sign the measure. Her advisers say she worries about the impact of this action, and she generally seeks counsel from her close circle of friends and advisers when faced with significant decisions. At day's end, they say, she's not afraid to make an unpopular choice in an important matter...

...As of Monday, the Governor's Office had received 1,356 calls, e-mails and faxes in favor of... and 11,931 against the bill.
Hello? Uh... governor Jan? VETO IT!

AND... Guess what, Friends ... There's more because clearly, Arizonans wont stop there. They've now passed a law that allows anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Because that makes sense, right? They wont allow people to learn how to drive without a permit. They wont allow people to build a home without a permit. They wont even allow people to stage a protest in most places without a permit, but BY GOD, you can sure as hell carry a concealed gun without a permit.

And finally, another jewel in the crown of Arizona's ridiculosity: The Arizona House on Monday voted for a provision that would require our president to show his birth certificate if he hopes to be on the state's ballot when he runs for re-election.

While the measure still faces a formal vote, if formally passed and if it is not vetoed by governor Jan (I think pigs would fly first), it would require U.S. presidential candidates who want to appear on the ballot in Arizona to submit documents proving they meet the constitutional requirements to be president.

Phoenix Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema said the bill is making Arizona "the laughing stock of the nation." While Mesa Republican Rep. Cecil Ash said he has no reason to doubt Obama's citizenship but supports the measure because it could help end doubt.

What don't these people understand? The document posted at the right is an electronic copy of the POTUS's birth certificate. Do they actually want a paper copy? Do they want to touch it, sniff it, feel the grooves on the paper?

Ugh!!! Rep. Sinema, you're so correct. Arizona *is* "the laughing stock of the nation." And for *that* - you can thank the 22nd governor of the great State of Arizona, Jan Brewer.

**UPDATE**

CNN is reporting:
White House aides are scoffing at a move in the Arizona legislature to force President Obama to show his birth certificate to get on the state's ballot in 2012 for his likely re-election battle.

"This is a question that has been answered exhaustively," White House spokesman Bill Burton told CNN. "I can't imagine Arizona voters think their tax dollars are well served by a legislature that is less focused on their lives than in fringe right-wing radio conspiracy theories."
Laughing. Stock.

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