As most Arizonans know, Governor Jan Brewer's maiden name is Drinkwine.
Wags had plenty of fun with that — and with Brewer's married name — when last year the record of her 1988 booze-related accident surfaced, an incident in which officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety wrote her up for driving while snockered.
Arizona's future chief executive, then a state senator, was handcuffed, driven home, and never charged with a DUI, though she admitted to DPS officers at the scene that she'd downed a scotch or two before ramming a van on Interstate 17.
Call it "amnesty" for state legislators. Not unlike the kind enjoyed by a fellow Republican, state Senator Scott Bundgaard, after his roadside fisticuffs with ex-girlfriend Aubry Ballard in February.
Brewer's delight in fermented mash aside, I submit that the second half of her maiden name would best suit her if spelled with an "h," because all Brewer does throughout her self-serving, ghostwritten memoir, Scorpions for Breakfast, is whine.
The governor's kvetching comes as she pats herself on the back for having the gumption to sign Senate Bill 1070, Arizona's notorious "papers please" law, which alienated more than a third of Arizonans (the brown folk and those allied with them), turned Arizona into a national laughingstock, and — most significantly for Brewer — secured her win over then-Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard in the 2010 gubernatorial contest.
In Scorpions, Brewer likens the criticism she took over signing 1070 to "water-boarding," takes umbrage at getting called a "racist," "Hitler's daughter," and "Satan's whore," and expresses annoyance at the protesters who dared harangue her at the state Capitol.
Oh, and she really hated the drums that some anti-1070 protesters utilized.
"They were there every day: marching, chanting, and beating drums," she notes in Scorpions. "Always beating drums."
Interesting complaint coming from the governor of a state with more than a quarter of its land mass given over to Native Americans.
Many of those "chanting" and "beating drums" had indigenous blood flowing through their veins. Because of the Brewer-signed 1070, they, too, would be suspect of being present illegally.
Thankfully, most of 1070 was enjoined by U.S. District Circuit Judge Susan R. Bolton. Later, her order was upheld by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Brewer moans about this too, while, ironically, insisting that her pro-1070 stance represented the rule of law.
Just who do those dang jurists think they are? Janice Drinkwine Brewer knows best, despite her lack of college learnin'.
Such childishness extends to nearly every aspect of Brewer's book. A better title for it would be White Trash Wins Lotto.
Brewer even bitches about how, after Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election and Governor Janet Napolitano was nominated Homeland Security secretary, "Janet wouldn't leave" until she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Never mind that Napolitano, no matter what you think about her, was elected to be the state's chief executive. Or that Brewer was chancing into a position she never would have earned on her own.
Indeed, through a combination of partisan hackdom, dumb luck, and crass personal ambition unmarked by speaking ability or native intelligence, Brewer had risen from state legislator and Maricopa County supervisor to become Arizona's Secretary of State, next in line to the Governor's Office.
Yet Brewer long had campaigned to create a lieutenant governor position to replace that of secretary of state.
In 1994, she stated in an op-ed in the Arizona Republic that the Secretary of State's Office does "little to prepare that officeholder for the statewide leadership role required of a governor."
In the same piece, Brewer bewailed "what happens when the governorship is thrust upon an unwilling and untrained secretary of state."
On the eve of Napolitano's 2008 departure, Republic reporter Matthew Benson (now Brewer's communications director) confronted her with these words. Brewer insisted she was different because she had decades of political experience.
Actually, Brewer is uniquely unqualified to be governor, in part because she is not well-educated, but mostly because her lack of cerebral power rivals the arachnids that TV has-been Chuck Norris famously claimed Brewer noshes like Cheerios.
Though her sketchiness regarding her educational background has lent itself to speculation, Brewer reportedly graduated from Los Angeles' Verdugo Hills High School in 1962.
Detractors have labeled her "G.E.D. Jan." Despite her getting certified in radiology after high school, the nickname has stuck.
That's mainly because of Brewer's ineptness as a communicator and her own general cluelessness.
Lack of a college degree would not preclude her from being an autodidact, but in Brewer's case, someone would have to explain to her what "autodidact" means. Then they'd have to teach her how to pronounce it.
It's a sure bet that Brewer did not write her own book. In her acknowledgments, she thanks ghostwriter Jessica Gavora for "helping me share the truth about SB 1070."