Tag Archives: McCain-Palin

Beware the Powerful Fantasy World of Sarah Palin

The US vice-presidential candidate’s memoir mocks the truth, but she remains a possible future American leader

"Going Rogue"

"Going Rogue" features the lies and half-truths of Sarah Palin.

What can one say about one of the most compelling and bizarre works of “non-fiction” on the market, Going Rogue by Sarah Palin?

I have to say it stymies me somewhat. Treating it as some kind of factual narrative to check (as I began to), or comparing its version of events with her previous versions of the same events (as I have), and comparing all those versions with what we know is empirical reality, is a dizzying task. The lies and truths and half-truths and the facts and non-facts are all blurred together in a pious purée of such ghastly self-serving prose that, in the end, the book can really be read only as some kind of chapter in a cheap 19th-century edition of Lives of the Saints.

It is a religious book, full of myths and parables. And Sarah is fast becoming a religious icon of sorts for what is now the Republican base. On the first day of her tour, she dragged her infant with Down’s syndrome everywhere she went, even waving his hand to the crowds at one point as his little head swung back and forth. Here is the Madonna with child and a child that is an emblem of everything those who oppose abortion believe in.

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The Pit Bull in the China Shop

Sarah Palin vs. Pit Bull

Sarah Palin vs. Pit Bull

At last the American right and left have one issue they unequivocally agree on: You don’t actually have to read Sarah Palin’s book to have an opinion about it. Last Sunday Liz Cheney praised “Going Rogue” as “well-written” on Fox News even though, by her own account, she had sampled only “parts” of it. On Tuesday, Ana Marie Cox, a correspondent for Air America, belittled the book in The Washington Post while confessing that she couldn’t claim to have “completely” read it.

Going Rogue” will hardly be the first best seller embraced by millions for talismanic rather than literary ends. And I am not recommending that others follow my example and slog through its 400-plus pages, especially since its supposed revelations have been picked through 24/7 for a week. But sometimes I wonder if anyone has read all of what Palin would call the “dang” thing. Some of the book’s most illuminating tics have been mentioned barely — if at all — by either its fans or foes. Palin is far and away the most important brand in American politics after Barack Obama, and attention must be paid. Those who wishfully think her 15 minutes are up are deluding themselves.

The book’s biggest surprise is Palin’s wide-eyed infatuation with show-business celebrities. You get nearly as much face time with Tina Fey and the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in “Going Rogue” as you do with John McCain. We learn how happy Palin was to receive calls from Bono and Warren Beatty “to share ideas and insights.” We wade through star-struck lists of campaign cameos by Robert Duvall, Jon Voight (who “blew us away”), Naomi Judd, Gary Sinise and Kelsey Grammer, among many others. Then there are the acknowledgments at the book’s end, where Palin reveals that her intimacy with media stars is such that she can air-kiss them on a first-name basis, from Greta to Laura to Rush.

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Palin’s Oprah Interview: Pick Your Scooplet

Sarah Palin discusses "Going Rogue" on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Sarah Palin discusses "Going Rogue" on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Sarah Palin‘s interview on Oprah started off newsy, with lots of talk about her McCain campaign handlers and how they restricted her, the Katie Couric interview, etc. There are a few headlines flying around this evening after it finally aired…so here are a few of them. You can pick the scooplet you think is most newsworthy. In no particular order:

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The GOP Stalinists Invade Upstate New York

The GOP have gotten into a tangled mess with the ultra-conservative fringe battling the more moderate centerists for control of the Republican Party.

The GOP is in a tangled mess with the ultra-conservative fringe lead by Sarah Palin battling the more moderate centerists for control of the Republican Party.

Barack Obama‘s most devilish political move since the 2008 campaign was to appoint a Republican congressman from upstate New York as secretary of the Army. This week’s election to fill that vacant seat has set off nothing less than a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war. No matter what the results in that race on Tuesday, the Republicans are the sure losers. This could be a gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats through 2010, and perhaps beyond.

The governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia were once billed as the marquee events of Election Day 2009 — a referendum on the Obama presidency and a possible Republican “comeback.” But preposterous as it sounds, the real action migrated to New York’s 23rd, a rural Congressional district abutting Canada. That this pastoral setting could become a G.O.P. killing field, attracting an all-star cast of combatants led by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, William Kristol and Newt Gingrich, is a premise out of a Depression-era screwball comedy. But such farces have become the norm for the conservative movement — whether the participants are dressing up in full “tea party” drag or not.

The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama. The movement’s undisputed leaders, Palin and Beck, neither of whom has what Palin once called the “actual responsibilities” of public office, would gladly see the Republican Party die on the cross of right-wing ideological purity. Over the short term, at least, their wish could come true.

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John McCain’s Latest Sarah Palin Lie

John McCain and Sarah Palin on the 2008 presidential campaign trail.

GOP candidates Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin on the 2008 presidential campaign trail.

John McCain’s duplicitous defense of his 2008 GOP running mate Sarah Palin this past weekend is as dishonest as it is shameful. He knows better–but for reasons that are rooted deeply in McCain’s peculiar sense of chivalry and his political self-interest, he has refused to come clean about Palin with the American people.

“There are fundamental facts that cannot be denied,” he asserted on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “When we selected, or asked, Sarah Palin to be my running mate, it energized our party. We were ahead in the polls, until the stock market crashed.”

The implication is that the Republicans would have won were it not for the economic collapse that took place on September 15.

Many McCain and Palin operatives in the aftermath of the election have blamed the economy for their loss. That’s like blaming a lake in the middle of the 18th fairway for costing one a golf match. The lake doesn’t cost you the match–driving your ball into it does.

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The Levi Johnston Story, Unabridged Edition

Levi Johnston and Sarah Palin

Levi Johnston and Sarah Palin

In the October issue of Vanity Fair, Levi Johnston tells his story–not of his relationship with Bristol, or her campaign for abstinence, or of life, in general, as a traveling spectator of the McCain/Palin campaign–but of Sarah Palin herself, what she’s like at home, what she does, says, and how she treats people. And it is not pretty. Not by a long shot.

It’s a five-page first-person account, told by Johnston, of the way Palin is. Johnston certainly has an axe to grind: since the end of the campaign, it’s become clear that Johnston does not like Sarah Palin very much. He has complained about not being able to see his baby, and he’s alleged that Palin knew he and Bristol were having sex before Bristol got pregnant.

In short, he feels burned by Sarah Palin and the media circus he walked into, by virtue of being her then-future-son-in-law when she was named as John McCain’s vice presidential candidate.

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Sarah Palin’s Obama Obsession

Sarah Palin during her speech at the Republican National Convention.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin ranting to the crowds during her speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Today [Saturday] marks the one-year anniversary of John McCain’s introduction of Sarah Palin to the international stage, in Dayton, Ohio, a political battleground that the Republicans desperately needed for another shot at the White House. They lost Ohio big (by more than 300,000 votes), and they lost the election even bigger–mostly thanks to Palin’s erratic, if not downright bizarre, performance as the vice-presidential nominee.

In many ways, it seems longer than a year. Much longer. Palin went back to Alaska, where her life turned into a nasty soap opera. There were revelations from McCain’s staff about her behavior on the campaign trail; she was hit with a myriad of ethics charges (some of which, contrary to Palin’s claims otherwise, stuck); she bailed on her relationship with the state’s legislators and played politics with the federal stimulus plan; she got into a dog fight with Levi Johnston; she began a series of odd Twitterings, replete with a six-part ramble on Mommy Bear; she resigned amid chaos and deception, only to return as a diva on Facebook.

And through it all she has been obsessed with Barack Obama.

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