Welcome to Planet Palin: Going Rogue reviewed

Sarah Palin's Going Rogue is a campaign book delightfully free of boring old policy and so is a sure fire dog whistle to her adoring base. It reinforces why she should never be President, but who the heck does the Republican Party have as an alternative candidate vaguely as charismatic as Caribou Barbie?

Every now and then we face really tough decisions…I mean capital ‘T’ tough. This week’s was whether or not to spend $34 on Sarah Palin’s God-bothering, petty and vindictive score-settling payback and thereby contribute to ‘the cause’ so to speak. Did I? You betcha!

To save you all the bother, I forked over the cash for the much anticipated Going Rogue: An American Life which could also be titled Gone Feral: A Subject-Approved Hagiography – bearing in mind that true hagiographies are supposed to be ‘critical’ studies of the saints involved. That it is not.

For your money – although I see it is already on a 40% discount in North America – you get 403 pages of Planet Palin which is all at once an escape from reality and an invitation into the selective musings and untold “I remember(s)” of Saint Sarah, the losing Vice Presidential candidate who is incapable of hiding her contempt for anyone who dares to question her.

In an excruciating effort to define herself as the quintessential anti-politician, Palin applies the same finesse that it takes to blast a grizzly or a moose off the face of the great state of Alaska to the pointy headed liberals of the new Sodom, a.k.a. Washington. She hates that place (although was desperate to get there) and all the “liberal elites” and their “Hollywood liberal” friends who frequent it. This despite how busy she must have been sweeping the floor to gather all the names she drops throughout her missive – Warren Beatty, Gary Sinise, Kelsey Grammer, Wolf Blitzer, Matt Lauer, Bono and co. Not to be confused with the label-dropping of this consignment store diva – a little Anne Taylor to show how fiscally conservative and unaffected by fashion she is, although her Theory pants and the D&G pink number can’t be left out.

Nor can God. The poor guy never gets a break. He is dragged in to absolutely everything which is all well and fine, but hardly bodes well for America’s division of church and state. On her daughter’s “shocking news” pregnancy which “truthfully” devastated the then Governor Palin, she writes that “yet when God presents those doors, we think, yes, this is right, this fits”. When the anti-abortion Palin toys with the idea of an abortion to take the “easy way” of dealing with her own “problem”—that she is pregnant with a Down’s Syndrome child—enter God, again. This time in a way that is, well, a little disturbing for someone who wants to run America. Palin writes herself a letter about the baby and signs it from God. Well actually from “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father”. Hmmm.

While most of us don’t have a problem with people turning to their God at any time in their lives, Palin’s constant references to God’s will and guidance and teachings smacks of a blatant appeal to a political base in America’s evangelical Bible-belt – enough so to make her fellow GOP members more than a little uncomfortable. Perhaps that’s why they don’t want her anywhere near their upcoming convention, nor will any of the GOP hierarchy come out and say she’s qualified to be President. The clearest response has been from McCain who said she’s lying in her book when she claims his campaign billed her for $50,000 for the process of vetting her candidacy. The 50 grand was her own legal costs for all the strife she was in up north – ‘Troopergate’ and the like. To borrow the former VP candidate and former Governor’s phrase, “Holy Geez”.

Little Miss I-am-not-vengeful seems to save most of her venom for…ta-dah…the liberal media and dirty filthy bloggers (my adjectives but I betcha they’d have earned a Palin “shout-out” whatever the hell that is).

Top of the list of course is Katie Couric who Palin still seems to think gave her a tough time…wow she should have been on the BBC’s Hardtalk and then she’d have known what a tough interview was. However I digress. Palin claims she conceded to the Couric interview out of sympathy because this woman (Couric) was actually in need of a career boost, had low self esteem, was going through a rough time, just felt she couldn’t trust anybody, and wanted Palin to like her! Palin was led to believe the interview would be “pretty mellow…short and sweet”. Couric was 25 pages later referred to not by name but as “the lowest rated news anchor on network television”. Oh, hear those nails down that screen!

Couric’s sin as we all know was to dare to ask the VP candidate what she read to keep in touch with world events etc. Palin couldn’t name a damned thing. Palin writes that was because Couric’s condescension irritated her so much she didn’t name anything. No newspaper. No book. No nothin’, Ma’am. Of course to make up for that irritation-induced deer in the headlights moment, Going Rogue is littered with book references, with newspapers, with wise words of philosophers that Palin leads us to believe she spontaneously “remembers”. You know “different” was the first “big word” Palin learned to spell…and she “would only put down one book just long enough to pick up another…(the) library was her summer hideaway”. Calling all libraries.

It is extremely easy to pull the wings off this Palin fly but as the McCain camp – who coined the “going rogue” phrase when she was spinning off message – would say, she’s spared little in her smears of them, their operation, and any politician she doesn’t agree with.

Her whirlwind book tour that has begun in the US smacks of a campaign tour so she’s commenting on everything…even the Fort Hood massacre which she believes is a slam dunk for profiling…as in racial profiling…as in flying while Muslim is the new driving while black.

Palin has a qualified gripe with it comes to some of the coverage of her family – but you know, when you put your kids up on a national, let alone an international stage – they become part of the package. Note to Rogue – they are vulnerable to any criticism or inquiry when they are pregnant and only 17 and prima facie evidence that some of their mother’s ideals are fine in theory but obviously not easy to live up to.

Sarah Palin is very likely to be the huntin’, shootin’, fishin’, runnin’, God-fearin’ “grizzly-bear mom” her American life story presents her as. People love her. Her family loves her and she no doubt loves them. Why didn’t she just leave her story at that? Now she comes across as a holier-than-thou, petty whinger who can’t face reality, and it is in her words, not something she has been tricked in to saying or misquoted or distorted. “Unfiltered” she calls it.

Going Rogue is a sure fire dog whistle to Palin’s potential presidential electoral base. However, like Nixon, she is obsessed that the “elite” is out to get her and believes without a bat of an eyelid that those elites and their PC ways will destroy the country if they are not stopped. What she doesn’t seem to realise is she is a mesmerizing train-wreck that political junkies and many who are not even so remotely interested just can’t stop from watching. Will she crash? When? How badly? What will the damage be? That does not mean she is qualified to be a president.

Maybe if she’d written something about policy and direction the nice fat conductor may have averted the train-wreck. Alas no for Ms – sorry Mrs as she has no time for “radical mantras of early feminists” – Palin, policy is not yet her thing. Perhaps the Republicans will realise what happened when they last elected a President who everyone thought was a great guy but clearly lacked any intellectual curiosity. Hint: financial chaos and war.

So was the $34 worth it? You betcha it was. Bring on the campaign. Until then observe very closely how the Republicans who are sorely lacking any charismatic or logical candidate to take on Obama in 2012 squirm and panic as they try to concoct an heir apparent who can outshine – and out shoot Caribou Barbie.