Have I read Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue? No. Will I read Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue? OF COURSE NOT! I don’t read as much as I used to, but when I do, ghostwritten works of fiction aren’t my first choice.
What is it about Sarah Palin that fascinates people so? Possessing way above average ambition , slightly above average looks coupled with below average intelligence is not the most charming of combinations. Maybe it’s because this is a celebrity obsessed, starstruck society and we prefer our politicians to be more like rock stars and less than statesmen.
It’s also because Palin has a natural and dedicated constituency that regard her as one of their own. The political scientist in me says Palin lacks the savvy or intellectual rigor to put together the organization to substain her through the lengthy, expensive and problem-plagued process, the policies that broaden her base beyond her base and the discipline to stay on message throughout a year-long and grueling presidential campaign.
Still, Palin has the high profile (and high negatives that go with it) to make her a player in Republican politics. The enthusiasm she generates can’t be taken lightly. Her folksy, anti-intellectualism appeals to the (White) folks in the hinderlands and they’re the ones standing in long lines for a fleeting glance and a brief, cold fish handshake from the ex-governor.
From the reviews I’ve read, Palin doesn’t give away much about her possible presidential aspirations. Palin may not know what newspapers she reads, but she knows not to make her move too soon. The analysis by Nate Silver on FiveThirtyEight.com should be required reading for Democratic strategist attempting to project how the 2012 election match-ups may shape up.
It’s really pointless to speculate as to what might happen in politics three years away from the next presidential election. No one can predict what factors will determine whether Obama wins a second term or not.
Freed from her responsibilities as the governor of a cold, isolated and predominantly White state, Palin can shill her book to the adoring throngs of disillusioned cultural conservatives looking for someone to love. That’s why they camp out on sidewalks for 20 hours hoping for a signed copy and a quick, “Hi” from Sarah the Shero as they recently did at a Borders bookstore in Columbus. The Columbus Dispatch asked some of the fans what they liked about Palin.
“She’s a very to-the-point person, she says it as it is, and that’s how I am,” said Fran Meyers, 39, of Westerville, after getting her book signed.
“She speaks as a moral person — not political,” piped in her husband, Mike, 37.
“I love that she’s down-to-earth, and that she’s just like us in her conservative values,” said Heather Dukette, 40, of Marysville.
Then there’s these folks who were also waiting in line. Some interesting insights into how White people think.
Before you laugh at how intellectually and factually challenged these people are, just remember: they are eligible voters.
Of course, not everybody is excited about Sarah’s book tour as her tour bus rolls on to the next burg. In fact, some of the Palinistas are posting expressions of their hurt feelings on her Facebook page:
Jordan Harris I just spent 9 hours of my day, $40 of my hard earned money on two of your books, and took the whole day off work to watch you jump on a bus and throw a half-heated wave to the crowd you were avoiding.
I have never felt so disrespected. How can you claim that you are different? You aren’t. You are just as selfish as everyone else in Washington. It breaks my heart. I thought you might be the answer to the turmoil this country is under but you aren’t. You just slapped hundreds of Hoosiers in the face. The hard working type of people that you claim to represent.
You say in your book that you chose to sleep well over eating well. At the end of the day I know that you don’t care that you wasted the whole day of some 20 year old college student who lives on their own. I understand that all that matters is that I spent my money on two of your books. I’m sure your eating well. You certainly have no reason to be sleeping well.
Why are people surprised when manufactured celebrities turn out to be all hat and no cowboy?
Barack Obama said when asked if he had enough experience to be president would reply, “I don’t think there’s anywhere to go to get the experience.” Obama was being glib, but essentially he tells a truth. If a long and impressive resume was all it took, we’d be talking about what silly thing President Joe Biden said today.
Sarah Palin’s greatest asset is her overwhelming Whiteness. Prior to her kissy-face performance with Oprah Winfrey, I don’t recall ever seeing a Black person anywhere near Palin. You don’t see many of them standing in the rain to get a book signed.
There’s nothing in Palin’s background to indicate her feelings about race one way or another. We do know she didn’t know Africa was a continent. Gwendolyn Alexander, President of the African-American Historical Society of Alaska wrote as governor, Palin never congratulated the group for their Juneteenth celebration, but all that indicates is some degree of indifference on top of ignorance.
Most White folks fall into two categories about Juneteenth; they don’t know a thing about it or they have, but just don’t give a damn. To be honest, I’m never upset if I don’t get invited to any celebrations either. There’s not enough hard evidence that indicates how Palin regards race matters. What is evident is the Palin persona as the straight-shootin’, no pussyfooting around soccer mom plays well with White conservatives who have been in search of someone who looks and sounds like someone they could believe in.
The Palinistas get hot and bothered talking about how Sarah is “one of us” who stands for “traditional American values” but as she’s amply proven, one of the traditional American values Palin personifies is a shockingly ignorant worldview. Writing for Foreign Policy, Annie Lowrey searched Going Rogue for some clues as to what Sarah Palin’s worldview was. She soon realized she was drilling in an empty mine.
Perhaps, I thought, we were witnessing a rare political adolescence, an ideologically incoherent candidate going through the policy furnace and emerging forged. Perhaps Randy Scheunemann, the former foreign-policy advisor to John McCain, and others still working with Palin had helped her crystallize her world view. Perhaps there might be evidence of a nascent Palin Doctrine in Going Rogue. Perhaps I need to lay off the sauce. The book, as one might have predicted, provides little evidence of any awareness of foreign policy, let alone serious thought about the world and America’s place in it.
Ultimately, Going Rogue goes rogue as a political memoir, demonstrating what can only be described as a persistent and guileless lack of knowledge of even basic foreign-policy or domestic political issues. It is what we might have expected from Palin. And it is much less than anyone should expect of a candidate for one of the most powerful offices on Earth.
Palin’sr frightening lack of curiosity and awareness of the dangerous world that exists outside of the cozy Norman Rockwell fantasy she resides in permanently disqualifies her from higher office.
I’m not going to read Palin’s book, but I would never suggest no one should. It’s every American’s G0d-given right to waste their own money on badly written books full of self-congratulatory platitudes, settling scores and vague observations about the 2008 campaign. Hell, let her make a million bucks while Fox News kisses her ass every night.
Just don’t elect this idiot. Political candidates on the fringe who walk around with a chip on their shoulder against anyone who isn’t “one of us” and feed into the attitudes of racial resentment and making White people feel good about themselves don’t appeal to me. President Obama may not be the transformative figure that some supporters hoped he would be, but everything about a President Palin screams retreat and retrenchment on race matters.