Reviewing Goofy Sarah’s Goofy Book

sarah's-winkThanks to a friend at an on-line book seller, on Friday morning a courier delivered a preview copy of Going Rogue, Sarah Palin’s latest gyration in her bizarre, ongoing odyssey into fringe folk-lore, self-promotion, and an increasingly pathological need to keep yelling “Look at me! Look at me!” like a whiny eight-year-old trying to get attention in a room full of grown-ups.

“If anyone else had written this,” read a note from my friend that I found in the envelope, “they’d be shipped off to a shrink and put on heavy meds. Instead, Palin is getting rich. Life’s not fair!”

The book is as unevenly written and, in parts, mysteriously unfathomable as Palin herself – despite having wordsmithing help from a sub-editor of an evangelical religious magazine. For example, the very first paragraph of the book includes a sentence declaring, “I breathed in an autumn bouquet that combined everything small-town America with rugged splashes of the Last Frontier.” Huh? I hope publisher Harper-Collins didn’t pay ghost-writer Lynn Vincent much money for whatever it is Vincent did with Palin’s text.

More to the point, beyond turning on the same McCain campaign that plucked her from obscurity and propelled her to the infamy that led to a $5-million advance for her memoirs, Going Rogue reinforces the well-earned perception of The Wicked Witch of Wasilla as so devoutly anti-intellectual, so thoroughly uncurious about the world, and so totally convinced that the fake blue collar image of her life means she knows all there is to know and only God knows all the rest, as to make her popularity among the remains of the Republican Party truly frightening.

Sadly, the book only increases her appeal to that very base of the shrinking GOP while leaving moderate Republicans, independents and anyone else who actually thinks about things out in the Alaskan cold.

Payback Time
Aside from the snippets of her life in Alaska – much of it true, some of it clearly part of the carefully-crafted storyline created about her by Palin’s handlers in the McCain campaign – the book is mostly a loosely-linked chain of self-aggrandizing, petulant slams at McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt and a handful of other professional pols who were trying to get their ticket elected against very long odds.

She comes across as an eager player in a blame game – something she’s been doing ever since high school, according to published accounts of people who’ve known her since her prom queen days.

sarah's-salmonEqually important, she polishes her campaign persona of “hockey mom” triviality. She confesses to being unfamiliar with the Middle East, the Iraq war, Afghanistan or Islamic politics. “I knew the history of the conflict,” she writes at one point, “to the extent that most Americans did.”

Oh? Better tell that to Rush Limbaugh, who claims Going Rogue is one of the best policy books he’s ever read. I gather this means what it implies: He doesn’t read many policy books.

And, anyway, “most Americans” don’t want to be vice president of the United States and aren’t manoeuvring to become a major party’s nominee for president next time around.

Just as astonishing, Palin argues without explanation that “there’s no better training ground for politics than motherhood.”

Anti-Everything
Palin writes that she and Todd are perfect to represent America’s Joe Six-Packs because that’s who they are themselves.

“We know what it’s like to be on a tight budget and wonder how we’re going to pay for our own health care, let alone college tuition,” she boasts. “We know what it’s like to work union jobs … We felt our very normalcy, our status as ordinary Americans, could be a much-needed fresh breeze blowing into Washington, D.C.”

One problem: The very economic policies she touts in the book, at her Facebook page, when she Twitters little nothings in the ears of her followers, and on the stump during the campaign have been killing union jobs and ordinary Americans since the days of Ronald Reagan.

Elsewhere, she writes about creationism, proudly confessing that she doesn’t hold truck with “the theory that human beings — thinking, loving beings — originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea” or “monkeys who eventually swung down from the trees.” She knows as much about anthropology as she knows about the Middle East: Monkeys climbed into trees first, before learning to walk upright. Oh, and studies have shown that nearly all primates are “thinking, loving beings.”

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But to Palin, God is in charge of everything in her life, a sort of personal concierge. “My life is in His hands,” she testifies. “I encourage readers to do what I did many years ago, invite Him in to take over.”

I doubt whether Palin knows it, but that statement is the best argument I’ve read to support atheism. Surely, a caring, loving, all-knowing and all-seeing God would never give a Sarah Palin such a platform so there’s almost a prima facie case that a God doesn’t exist.

Charley James
The Progressive Curmudgeon

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About Charley James

If you are born in Milwaukee, chances are you're born a Democrat. So, I gravitated naturally to liberal politics as an activist and a journalist. I've been writing since I was eight and, after working in newsrooms for far too long, I have devoted much of the past decade as an independent investigtative jouralist. For much of the past year, I've been writing about homelessness - America's immorality play.

Comments

  1. Michaelangelo Price says:

    The widespread acceptance of Palin’s book is easy to understand, and can be explained in one simple Palinesque run-on sentence:

    “It’s okay if you’re ignorant, so am I, and I’m famous and besides I’m a woman and isn’t that enough and don’t blame me because God is running things so blame Him and remember that I’m a mommy and so everybody who is a mommy should be on my side and that’s why it’s okay to be ignorant and history doesn’t count and everything is everybody else’s fault but at least we can agree that I’m really cute, because everybody in the world lusts after me which, I mean, lust is bad unless you say it out loud but I’m still the cutest person alive and have I mentioned I’m a mommy?”

  2. Tom you’re so right.

  3. One of the things that I think too many progressives get wrong is the symbolism of someone like Palin (or Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Dobbs, etc.)

    She gets a $5 million advance for going public with her ignorance, lack of intellectual skills and adherence to bigotry and “faith” over reason. This is a message of promise to her fans. They can cling to the idea that any one of them can also get rich without the hardwork, “book learning” and intellectual activity that their teachers kept telling them they need.

    Sarah, et al. are examples that wallowing in your ignorance, publicly braying in things other people are ashamed even to whisper when drunk, can lead to fabulous wealth.

    This is no different from the high school kid who will ditch classes for extra football practice, smashing his head and body in ways that medicine tells us will strip years from his life. Even though any teacher could tell him that only a tiny fraction of one percent of high school hopefuls will ever play football for money, the dream is strong enough to encourage tens of thousands to sacrifice their lives and health, every year, in a vain hope that they will be chosen.

    We need to focus less on the Palins of the world and more on the workers, children, and others to whom they are marketed.

    It’s a lot like blaming Joe Liberman for being a sell-out, when the worse sell-outs are the 70% who don’t do their social duty by voting, and therefore, turn their governance over to the Libermans.

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