If you're Jan Brewer, and Chuck Norris says that you "eat Scorpions for breakfast", what else are you going to name your next book?
Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America's Border, which was released this week, chronicles what she describes as one of the most trying periods of her life -- the passage of the controversial SB 1070 immigration law in Arizona. Framing her book with the case of a rancher killed near the U.S.-Mexico border, the Republican governor suggests throughout her book that the murder was committed by an "illegal alien" -- although the crime remains unsolved.
Brewer writes that investigators found footprints near the crime scene leading south across the U.S.-Mexico border, but also indicates that "Robert Krentz's killer has never been found." She maintains that the "momentum" from Krentz's murder helped pass SB 1070, which requires police in Arizona to question people about their immigration status if they suspect the person is in the country illegally.
Brewer cites an Arizona sheriff who she believes "summed up the mood of Arizonans well" concerning Krentz's murder.
"We cannot sit by while our citizens are terrorized, robbed, and murdered by ruthless and desperate people who enter our country illegally," Sheriff Larry Dever testified before a Senate hearing.
Oddly, Brewer also says that she was most impressed by the victim's family and supporters because they did not blame Latinos they knew personally for Krentz's murder.
"But what's most amazing, is that these remarkable people don't blame the ordinary Mexicans and Mexican Americans they know," she wrote. "They blame the leaders whose job it was to protect Rob Krentz in the first place."
The hardest part in the fight for SB 1070, Brewer writes, was being accused of racism by the "liberal media" and those who sought to profit by demonizing her -- including the Obama administration. She calls Obama's stance against her bill "a Democratic vote-getting scheme."
When "Cardinal Roger Mahoney [sic], the archbishop of L.A." likened the bill to measures taken in Nazi Germany, Brewer says he "probably felt he had to ... especially because of the way SB1070 had been misrepresented by the president and in the press." The correct spelling of the archbishop's name is Mahony according to his personal website.
When the L.A. city council voted 13-1 to boycott Arizona business, she wrote that it was the council members' "opportunity to pander to their Hispanic constituents." And when the Phoenix Suns decided to wear "Los Suns" jerseys as a gesture of solidarity with Arizona's Hispanic population, Brewer writes that they were merely striking a "fashionable political pose" and promoting "their marketing campaign" to attract more Latino fans to the sport.
With criticism from so many fronts, Brewer says, she experienced moments of self doubt during the passage of SB1070. "When you spend midnight to five o'clock in the morning reading nasty things about yourself, your husband, your children, and your friends, you begin to question your judgement," she wrote. "I couldn't help wondering whether I had done the right thing after all."
She regained confidence, she writes, with the reassurances of her staff, who told her not to listen to her detractors.
"You know who these people are? They're losers," she quotes Chuck Coughlin, one of her political consultants, telling her. "They don't have a life! They're sitting there with no shoes on, bare-chested, drinking a beer, and smoking a cigarette. They hate the world!"
In the final chapter, Brewer returns to Krentz's murder, using his still-unsolved murder to justify her crackdown on undocumented immigrants. She writes that Krentz "had compassion for the illegal crossers who were trashing his land and sapping his livelihood and who probably killed him."
In the foreward to Brewer's book, Sarah Palin praises Brewer for rising through the political ranks by "bringing people together -- by building up, instead of tearing down."