Calvin Freiburger

The Left’s Latest Marching Orders: Destroy Jan Brewer

Posted on June 7 2010 10:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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With Arizona’s recently-passed immigration law being cast as the second coming of Nazi Germany (by the side far more sympathetic to the Nazis’ actual successors, naturally), the governor who signed the measure into law is, obviously, vilified as well. And so The Daily Beast‘s Terry Greene Sterling decided to profile Republican Governor Jan Brewer. While its tone seems meant to suggest impartiality, several telltales reveal its real agenda: to belittle supporters of true immigration reform as opportunists stirring up fear and hatred for political gain.

Sterling’s title—“The Woman Immigrants Fear”—makes clear right out of the gate that White Jan is no friend to minorities – no siree.  The only support for the Brewer-as-racist meme Jan offers in the article is her opposition to impeaching Gov. Evan Mecham, who early in his term had “banned a state holiday honoring Martin Luther King.”  The truth is less dramatic—the holiday was a day off for state employees instituted by his predecessor, with Dr. King apparently little more than the pretext, making the holiday a bureaucracy issue, not a race one.  But hey, raising the specter of racism is good enough, right?  As long as the audience knows the context in which everything that follows should be understood, the Left is happy.

Sterling also laments that Brewer doesn’t give credit to President Barack Obama for doing “more to enforce the border than other administrations.”  For one thing, “more than other administrations” is a pretty low bar.  Furthermore, the token 1,200 troops Obama is sending to the border are but a fraction of the 6,000 John McCain requested. As if that’s not bad enough, reports say that those 1,200 are little more than desk jobs in support roles, not guards to patrol the border.  Lastly, Obama has been smearing the bill without regard for what it actually says from the very moment it was made into law. Damn Jan Brewer for not being more grateful! He’s been such a prince to her!

The closest Sterling herself comes to discussing the text of the law is noting that “not a word of 1070 addresses border security.” The proper response to that remark is, of course: so? It’s a law-enforcement measure.  Nobody says it’s meant to secure the borders.

Next Sterling complains that Brewer’s “view of borderlands crime is not borne out by government statistics; according to most figures, crime is flat or down in border towns.”  Although that certainly sounds wonderful if you’re a political hack pretending to be a journalist, the substantial criminal impact of illegal immigration is pretty well understood, as is the fact that efforts to downplay it tend to rely on misleading statistics.  Taking a look at Arizona in particular, the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s Jack Martin recently wrote:

The IPC argument was based on FBI crime data and correctly showed a decline in both the violent crime rate per capita and in the property crime rate per capita in Arizona. What the IPC report neglected to point out to its readers is that the crime rate in Arizona has been at or near the top of the FBI’s national crime index every year since 2000. Furthermore, the FBI does not have a category in the crime data it collects for kidnappings – which are higher per capita in Arizona than anywhere in the United States and just about anywhere in the world. The IPC report dismisses the issue of kidnappings as mostly related to drug smugglers and human smugglers. That apparently is supposed to mean that if Mexican smugglers are committing crimes in Arizona, it’s nothing to worry about as long a most of the victims are Mexicans.


Finally, the IPC report asserts that “…immigrants are less [emphasis in the original] likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born.” This claim is a standard bait and switch tactic. Moving from the illegal alien population to immigrants changes the population being analyzed dramatically. Immigrants are screened to keep out anyone with a criminal past – unlike illegal aliens who have sneaked into the country. It should also be noted that illegal aliens who commit crimes, if caught, are usually deported rather than being released back into the population. So the number of illegal aliens committing crimes should be reduced more for than native-born criminals who are released back into the population and may become recidivists.

Even if crime rates are low in border towns, it doesn’t support Sterling’s point. It stands to reason that illegals will commit fewer crimes in places they’re just passing through than they will wherever they settle down.  Besides, these are crimes being committed by people who have no business being here in the first place. This means that even a relatively low crime rate is inexcusably high and, above all, needless. If the government had been doing its job all this time, the number of Americans murdered by illegals would be a heck of a lot closer to zero than it is now – just ask Jamiel & Anita Shaw.

The biggest idea Sterling wants to convey (behind the oh-so-impartial veil of “her critics say,” of course) is that it’s all politically motivated for Brewer (plus, she’s doing her hair like Sarah Palin’s now.  Or something.).  It could be, I guess, but that doesn’t make SB 1070 wrong.  Indeed, that voters are receptive to the governor’s efforts is just as likely to suggest that the people of Arizona see a real problem, and want their leaders to do something about it. (Also note that even Massachusetts is starting to crack down on illegals.)

Sterling concludes by referencing Brewer’s recent embarrassment over saying her father “died fighting the Nazi regime.” This, of course, suggests that he was killed in combat. In fact, however, he died of a lung disease, which he had picked up working in a Nevada munitions plant. Yes, this was an important contribution to the war, but “died fighting the Nazi regime” evokes something more  dramatic in most people’s minds, so I have to concede this point to her critics.

Nevertheless, Jan Brewer could be the single most honest and rhetorically-gifted politician to ever walk the earth, and she’d still be a fear-mongering opportunist for signing SB 1070, according to our country’s Progressive movement.  The Left has no other choice: once they concede that conservatives have legitimate concerns and morally-defensible solutions, they lose.  The entire progressive movement is like an empty engine running on fumes—they’ve run out of non-discredited ideas, and emotionalism and misdirection are all they have left.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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