Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Review: Going Rogue

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Going Rogue
        
Author: Sarah Palin

Author's social media sites: https://www.facebook.com/sarahpalin and https://twitter.com/sarahpalinusa

Author's TV web site: https://sarahpalinchannel.com/
        
Date: 2009
        
Publisher: Harper Collins
        
ISBN: 978-0-06-193989-1
        
Length: 403 pages of text
        
Illustrations: photo insert
        
Quote: “The way forward is to stand and fight.”
        
Fair disclosure: I’m not Sarah Palin’s greatest fan. So a friend gave me a copy of her first book, hoping that reading Going Rogue would convert me. It didn’t; my reservations about Palin were based on her stated environmental policy of trying to extend the Waste Age rather than move beyond it, and neither her position nor mine has changed.
        
I found her likable enough before reading her book; that’s not changed either. Nearly all politicians are likable. That is how they become politicians. Whether they’re trustworthy or not is a different story, and it’s worth noting that, even if what she could be trusted to do was oppose you on every single issue you can think of, the opposition never claimed that Palin wasn’t trustworthy. 
        
Going Rogue did however, clarify some things about which the mass media reports I’d heard had been confusing—e.g., was Sarah Palin ever a single mother? She says no. Did she ever contemplate becoming a single mother via divorce? She replies with a wisecrack: “Have [the propagators of that rumor] ever seen Todd?” If this kind of thing interests you, and if you didn’t watch the Palins’ at-home reality TV show, you needed to read Going Rogue.
        
If you watched the mainstream media, you may not even remember where Palin stood on the issues, because the mainstream media preferred a sort of strategic cutesipation, rarely discussing her political record and nattering on about her hair. Of course, among women who still think political “sisterhood” ought to have meant something, that could almost have been Palin’s own strategy. Attention all pundits: for some women voters, including this one, ignoring a woman’s accomplishments and blathering about her looks gives her the precise equivalent of a Race Card to play. If you insist on trivializing and cutesipating women, it may still be possible for the women to strike out, but you can’t win. Anyway, Going Rogue contains Palin’s summary of her political accomplishments and goals. If you wondered whether she was seriously basing a campaign on having once won a beauty pageant, you needed to read Going Rogue.
        
And if you wondered what kind of mother could inflict a nationwide political campaign on young children, you definitely need to read Going Rogue, in which Palin explains how much less stressful campaigning on the state level used to be.
        
She also explains exactly who came up with some of the cheapest shots taken at her during the campaign, the “Sarah-cuda” and “pit bull with lipstick” sort of thing. She did. She either learned from, or learned from the same source, as W “Who Says Men Can’t Be Blonds?” Bush.
        
She handed her political opponents both the worst points, the primary-school-level verbal attacks, and the best points, her environmental record and the vulnerable ages of the children, to use against her. It’s not her fault if the Democrats couldn’t muster the scientific expertise to challenge Palin on environmental policy. I feel, emotionally, that beating her in a fair debate ought to be doable, and ought to have been done, but the Democrats missed their chance. Considering how many Democrats are media celebrities, and how the party so notoriously spends money, all one can say is: shame on the Democrats for not even trying to fight Palin clean.
        
Going Rogue is, however, a post-campaign story, and in the end the plot turns out to be “Why I didn’t work with the party by which I had been nominated.” It seems clear that Palin would not have liked being Vice-President in any case. Perhaps we’d be a better country if we were likely to elect her President, but I think the final effect of Going Rogue is to present Palin as a state-level politician.



Is anybody out there still waiting to read Going Rogue? Doubtful. And in between the writing and the publication of this review, I've sold the copy I physically owned--but it was snapped up fast, so let's go ahead and post this review in case anybody else wants to support this site by buying another copy. All books sold online through this web site will be mold-free (unlike the books local lurkers and book review supporters faithfully bought in that moldy warehouse where I used to sell them) and will have been shipped by the U.S. Postal Service, so they cost a bit more than books physically sold in my home town: generally $5 per book + $5 per package for shipping (yes, that's the price for Going Rogue). Out of this, if we're able to verify that the author is still living, we send $1 to the author or a charity of his or her choice. To clarify: if you buy two copies of Going Rogue, or one copy of Going Rogue and one copy of America by Heart, you send salolianigodagewi @ yahoo $15, we send Palin or her charity $2.