June 2, 2010

This is starting to look like a pattern. First Mark Kirk, now Jan Brewer. Governor Brewer's effort to stir sympathy for her cause seems to have backfired on her.

Via the Arizona Guardian:

Gov. Jan Brewer said in a recent interview that her father died fighting Nazis in Germany. In fact, the death of Wilford Drinkwine came 10 years after World War II had ended.

During the war, Drinkwine worked as a civilian supervisor for a naval munitions depot in Hawthorne, Nev. He died of lung disease in 1955 in California.

Brewer made the comment to The Arizona Republic while talking about the criticism she has taken since signing SB 1070, the new immigration law that makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.

"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," Brewer said in the story, published Tuesday.

How exactly does one stretch work for a munitions depot stateside into "fighting the Nazis"? Evidently by making the claim that the lung disease that killed her father was caused by toxic fumes at the munitions factory.

Her claim that she didn't mean to embellish the story rings hollow to me. The phrase "my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany..." clearly intends to convey the impression that he fell in combat in Germany fighting Nazis. If she had intended to convey otherwise, she would have framed it as the result of the country's war with Nazi Germany. She did not.

Of course, she is now trying to spin as a simple misinterpretation on the part of the reader, which points directly to my overall problem with the faux patriotism candidates put on under the guise of military service. We live in a country where service is voluntary (despite our unenforced draft laws). Serving or not serving is not a benchmark measure of anyone's patriotism.

As far as I'm concerned, military service should not be a marker of a candidate's qualification to run for or hold office. When it starts being pimped as some kind of extra qualifier, or when candidates use their family's service as a qualifier (as Brewer did), it's an insult to every member who is or has served in the military today.

Brewer just keeps proving her ambition and lack of qualification for office. Arizona, you can do better than this.

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