I grew up in the rural Midwest — Iowa to be exact — and it was not unusal for farmers to be Republicans.  When I crossed the threshold of basic political understanding, I remember the pride that Iowa had that it once produced an American president, Herbert Hoover (1929-33), and a vice president,  Henry A. Wallace (1941-45).  Neither man was regarded as successful in those roles.

I thought nothing of considering myself a Republican growing up ages 7 to almost 15 under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, lowering the age to vote wasn’t ratified until 1971. Had it been age 18 , I could have voted in the 1964 elections of Lyndon Johnson versus Barry Goldwater.  I doubt I would have voted for Goldwater.  I saw Richard Nixon speak in the late summer of 1968 in Urbandale, Iowa, and subsquently voted for him mostly because the Democrats were in such disarray in Chicago.  Big mistake.  I never voted for another Republican for president.

In the past decade, I haven’t voted for Republicans for any office. I have little regard for people who would run for office under that label given the direction the GOP has taken — blind allegiance to unfettered capitalism, demonization of tax or tax increases, a fixation on deregulation and privitazation, anti-gay posture, its takeover by the religious right, willingness to sacrifice Social Security to the volatile stock market and attitudes toward minorities, immigrants and vulnerable people.  I like to say that “Republican is just another word for selfishness.”

How unfortunate that the Arizona governorship fell to Jan Brewer when Gov. Janet Napolitano moved on to a U.S. cabinet post.   Many of us thought her incompetence and ineptness and Arizona’s economic collapse would be enough to see her defeated in a bid for a full term.  Then crazy old Russell Pearce and his tribe of troglodytes shoved through Senate Bill 1070 and fanned the flames of bigotry and intolerance in the sate, and Brewer caught the wave and rose in the public opinion polls to make her the favorite. election.

Brewer’s 14-second freeze-up at the opening of Wednesday night’s one-and-only gubernatorial debate with Attorney General Terry Goddard has been dismissed as “something that has happened to everyone.”  But she’s the governor. She had one debate to prepare for and this was the opening which should have been  rehearsed  or put on paper to read as so many candidates commonly do.  Before she lost her thoughts, she started out saying, “We’ve done everything that we could possibly do…”   What about giving the legislative Democrats the time of day with their ideas during sessions?

When Brewer got control of her wits, she demonstrated her broken English, “We have DID what is right for Arizona.” Her bad grammar was demonstrated several times during the debate.  She dodged questions and changed subjects questions and fired back at Goddard with lame and loose statements.  That broad, silly grin seeks to mask such abject dimwittedness.

When the evening was over, reporters tried to get her to respond to her looney notion about “beheadings” along the border and then suggested she meant in Mexico.  She refused to answer and abruptly walked off.

Jan Brewer is an embarrassment and offers pitifully little  for the next four years.  She truly has nothing to say.