Talk about having your bad night, politically speaking.
Incumbent Arizona Governor Jan Brewer engaged Democratic candidate and Attorney General Terry Goddard in a debate Wednesday night. She began the evening by freezing like a deer in the television headlights when asked to recite a perfunctory, self-laudatory greeting. That alone is talk of the political world today: a gubernatorial candidate that couldn’t manage her own opening statement.
Perhaps she hadn’t done enough to embarrass herself.
During the debate, Goddard called on Brewer to recant a lie she had told, one meant to drive up the hysteria surrounding the evil immigrants and the destruction of her precious Arizona: they had been killing and beheading people out in the desert. Goddard correctly pointed out that it was absolutely false and that it made Arizona look like a haven for lurid violence. Brewer just ignored the call.
Until she got confronted by the press after the sorry event. Christina Boomer from ABC 15, among others, confronted her: Why haven’t you admitted the beheadings never happened? The press were in agreement — it’s not a trivial matter, do you really still believe the rumor to be true? Oops, now Brewer was stuck.
Or was she?
Naw, no problem.
Back in the old days, politicians were much more in agreement about things like this . . the public were always owed the truth. It was so universally embraced as a political tenet that even a single lie, especially left unaddressed, could easily and justifiably derail a candidacy. A politician’s scrupulous honesty might have been the one thing that both parties demanded from their people, with almost no exception.
Times have changed. Jan Brewer doesn’t owe you a thing.