You're Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, and your political arms are being stretched to the breaking point in two very different directions, all while the national media spotlight is locked on to your every move. On the one hand, you're on record as advocating an increase in Arizona's sales tax which drew immediate fire from conservatives. Perhaps to help appease those very conservatives, and to help your own stance in the impending Republican gubernatorial primary, you sign an illegal immigration bill that rallies your conservative base while simultaneously infuriating human rights experts, not to mention the saber-rattling of a potential economic boycott because of the bill. Everything has gone wrong, so what, as Jan Brewer, could you possibly do to make the situation wronger? Why not bring in someone who would actually use "wronger" in a sentence even though it's not a word?
Cue Sarah Palin.
Sarah Palin invaded Arizona's border to rescue the flailing Governor Brewer with one piece of advice: blame President Obama for everything, from illegal immigration to the wasted first-round draft pick of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart. "We're all Arizonans now," Palin stated, while adding, "And in clear unison we say, 'Mr. President: Do your job. Secure our border.'"
Governor Brewer, in a flash of courage, briefly popped out of Palin's shadow to throw in a hit-and-run tactic of her own. "The president apparently considers it a wonderful opportunity to divide people along racial lines for his personal political convenience." Stick it to him, Governor Brewer! God knows being black made it easy for Obama to ride into the White House with a victory. The road on Pennsylvania Avenue is black--how could McCain have stopped him if Obama could so easily blend in?
Palin's harsh words toward President Obama are interesting in several ways. First of all, it's worth noting that Obama seems to be the only one to blame for the illegal immigration problem according to Palin, though the crisis has been going on for decades in her former running mate John McCain's backyard. I also think it's ironic that Palin is criticizing Obama by telling him to do his job considering Sarah quit hers, which was what allowed her to be in Arizona in the first place. But that's neither here nor there. What matters is Sarah Palin's rising stock in international relations.
We know Palin styled herself a Russian expert once she discovered she could see the country from her house. I can see a strip club from my house but that doesn't give me the grace to straddle a pole for money, though a boy can dream (a boy with significant student loans to pay off, too). Anyway, Palin also reminded the American people repeatedly that she's a hockey mom, so we can add Canadian foreign policy to her resume. But what makes her an expert in Hispanic relations, you might ask? As she stated to the press in Arizona, Palin has been through the Taco Bell in Wasilla, Alaska, where she asked a worker how to say the phrase, "Learn to speak English," in Spanish even though the worker was Inuit and not Hispanic. She also claims to own several Jewel country albums, though Jewel is neither Hispanic nor Inuit.
Many Democrats have expressed irritation at Sarah Palin's cross-country speaking tour, though if they were smart they'd stay silent. Hispanics are the fastest growing segment within America's population, and though 6 in 10 Americans support Arizona's newly signed law, that sentiment is surely not shared within the Hispanic community. Add Hispanic resentment to the other fastest growing political factions (women and African-Americans, groups that supported Obama in 2008's presidential election with 56% and 95% of their vote respectively) and you've got quite a Democratic coalition to stymie future GOP growth. Sarah Palin might very well be the Democratic Party's best recruiter.
Maybe after Palin is done with her cross-country tour she can become Russell Crowe's publicist so he'll stop making movies (somebody had to say it).
Scott Janssen is a graduate student, blogger, and all-around drain on society. Follow him at his blog at www.pantslessponderings.com