(To answer your question in advance, I owe early access to the text to blind luck, persistence, and a helpful friend in the industry who demands anonymity. Cross-posted at the Putz.)

Following American politics for the last two decades (and teaching about it for the last six years) I often feel like our political spectacles have taken on the air of an elaborate Dadaist performance piece, with each "Tea Party," Fox News segment, and Republican Savior more egregiously blurring the lines between reality, farce, and surrealism. We watch each Sarah Palin or Bobby Jindal speech fully expecting Ashton Kutcher to appear and let us in on the joke, informing America that it has in fact been punk'd and laughing uproariously at our gullibility. Our collective capacity for credulity has been strained to breaking.

Now we are faced with the daunting task of wrapping our minds around the Palin memoir Going Rogue, appearing atop a bestseller list near you. Millions of copies will be sold of a book written by someone who can't write, intended for an audience that doesn't read, about the thoughts of a person who doesn’t think. God is dead.

If you are in a hurry, here is the succinct version of this review: Going Rogue is shit. It is groundbreaking in its banality and disregard for facts. If you are sentient, it will pain you to read it. Imagine watching your parents 69 one another while John Madden sits behind you and bellows out color commentary and you will have some idea of how excruciating and profoundly scarring it is to plow through each page of this wholly fictional monument to self-aggrandized mediocrity. Going Rogue is to the art of writing what the Holocaust is to the concept of a just God – the piece of disconfirming evidence so overwhelming that we are left questioning whether it can exist at all.

Going Rogue is not without merit. It certainly delivers what its intended audience wants. Readers who already like Palin will love it, much as America's pedophiles will find the latest Jonas Brothers DVD to their liking. The authors' talent for communicating the ex-Governor's unique rhetorical style in print is remarkable – the Sesame Street cadence of her delivery and the intermittent Tourette's-like winks leap off the page. The book, recession priced at just $9, is also an ideal gift for the Aunt or Uncle who assaults your email inbox with a dozen weekly communiqués on the President's Kenyan birth and the constitutionality of income taxes.

Unfortunately that is an exhaustive list of its strengths.

The book is less a biography than an elaborate press release. Its 432 pages (with sixteen pages of pictures – and no index) barely feign interest in describing Palin’s life in detail. It moves as quickly as possible to its real raison d'être – a methodical re-imagining of her entire political career replete with more excuses than a Cleveland Browns post-game press conference. Palin has never done anything wrong. The public have merely been led to believe that she is a dangerously stupid, erratic narcissist. Going Rogue is all about setting that record straight, offering a wildly implausible excuse for every crash and bang in her train wreck of a political career.

The theme that permeates the book – and with all the subtlety of an Oliver Stone film – is Palin's overwhelming magnanimity. The book itself was written solely for our benefit, to set straight all of our misconceptions. Her Hindenburg interview with Katie Couric was done only because Palin pitied the struggling journalist (no mention of how her personal generosity forced her to answer simple questions like a lobotomized rube who had never ventured beyond Wasilla). Her hillbilly-wins-the-Lotto shopping sprees and misuse of Alaska taxpayers’ funds to take her daughters on vacations in $3000 per night hotels either never happened (er, she "usually" eschewed lavish accommodations for simple ones) or were forced upon her by others; McCain aides practically held a gun to her head and made her buy a new wardrobe. She resigned the governorship halfway through her only term for the benefit of the people of Alaska (admittedly she may be onto something there). Her enormous legal bills stem from frivolous ethics complaints by her enemies, and she has borne these costs for you – out of the kindness of her heart. Buying her book and electing her to the presidency is the least you can do in return, ingrate.

A serious question arises from her narrative. Is she a sociopath with a messiah complex – i.e. she actually believes the version of events she relates here – or is she simply a shameless liar? Does she honestly fail to realize that the McCain team was bending over backwards to protect her from her own stupidity when she rails on about how they abused, demeaned, and stifled her? Does she honestly believe it when she describes herself as someone who "wouldn’t stand for" a conflict of interest from a public servant, or does she consciously sit down at the keyboard and say, "I think I"m gonna make some shit up here!" with the intention of burnishing her image?

It is not coincidental that everyone – and we can use that term without hyperbole – involved with the McCain campaign and not named "Sarah Palin" has already lambasted this book as, variously, "pure fabrication," "other worldly," "blatantly and absolutely inaccurate," "total fiction," and "a serious mixing of truth and imagination." These charges would be predictable from liberal opponents, but they come from fellow Republicans. That is the shocking and crass aspect of this book. It is petty, vindictive, and reads like Palin was checking names off of her Nixonian enemies list one by one as she wrote, and the targets of her limitless bile are almost exclusively other Republicans. Barely a word is uttered of President Obama or his campaign aside from some factually errant potshots at his policies – including the "bailout" legislation signed by George W. Bush, underscoring Palin's slavish attention to detail. Nary an insult is leveled at Obama, Biden, or other Democrats on a personal level, something that cannot be said for Steve Schmidt and the rest of the McCain team. Schmidt may have seemed to the rest of us like a salty, dumpy campaign pro desperately trying to maintain order in a campaign that, thanks to Palin, skirted the line between chaos and comedy – half Ringling Brothers circus, half Triangle Shirtwaist fire. But Palin once again sets straight the record, depicting Schmidt throughout as a profane, hysterical misogynist hell-bent on destroying her and, she bizarrely claims, forcing her to abandon the Atkins Diet.

Going Rogue is many things, but it is not a good biography. It is a fantastic work of fiction and therefore not totally undeserving of commercial success. Every autobiography – be it from a political aspirant or the latest WWE superstar – massages the truth to some degree. Abraham Lincoln once called tact the art of describing others as they see themselves. This book proves that there is not enough tact in the world for a person with even the most tenuous grip on reality to describe Sarah Palin as she sees herself. If this is her attempt at positive spin, it is cynical and petty. If, on the other hand, she believes a single word of this, she is psychologically unfit to run for dog catcher let alone President of the United States.

In short, the book provides ample proof that Sarah Palin's version of her own life is like the Turkish government's version of the Armenian Genocide – and approximately as trustworthy. Going Rogue is an irritatingly vernacular, fantastical, and cloying autobiography of a malignant narcissist, every bit as thunderingly stupid throughout as the person behind it. In what world is it either necessary or desirable to spend $9 and four hours to figure that much out about Sarah Palin?

148 thoughts on “GOING ROGUE”

  • On behalf of those of us who might've had a slow-down-honey-there's-an-overturned-truck-on-fire-full-of-puppies-and-orphans curiosity to peruse this book, and now won't have to, allow me to thank you for taking this one for the team.

  • I hate reading a review that leaves you wondering what the reviewer really thought about the book. Sheesh, you didn't even mention whether the pictures were any good.

  • The McCain team trying to hide the fact that Palin was an idiot is similar to those dudes from "Weekend at Bernie's" pretending a corpse is a live person.

  • Instead of thinking of Palin as a shockingly bad politician who came within shouting distance of the Presidency, I find it helpful to think of her as a highly successful performance artist. I find that my blood pressure stays much lower if I wonder when she'll take a bow and drop her "terrifying rube" persona, instead of worrying that at some point she'll have her finger on the nuclear (sorry, "nukuler") button.

  • Reading this review is like re-watching the Oh-purr-ah interview yesterday (which was done through a haze of a blinding headache). I was trying to figure out if I should laugh or get disgusted and alternately did both. That you actually read her "book" speaks volumes about your tenacity and your will to get to the truth of things, even if it's howlingly painful to do so. Hats off, sir, hats off.

  • Brilliant review, Ed. Thanks for taking one for the team, as t'were. However, that parents 69-ing to John Madden bit has scarred me somewhat. Ok, a lot.

  • First, belatedly, congratulations Dr.

    As to the question of her narrative, I’m convinced it’s a messiah complex. How else to explain her adoring fans? Apparently, they believe in it as I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some new Palin bumper stickers around town, i.e., not leftover from the election.

    Another thought I just had… if Schmidt was ‘hell bent on destroying her,’ my small mind extrapolates that to imply her elevation to the Republican ticket was nothing more than a [character] assassination plot. Are any of the players in the Kennedy conspiracy still alive?

  • Republican adoration has progressed, over the last three decades, from fixation with a professional clown (the Sainted Corpse) to open worshiping of a toxic clown (G-Dubs) to drooling over a rent-a-clown. The best country in the world, baby.

  • More recent pictures show her taking resolute steps toward GILFhood. Yet about 23% of Americans profess to 'like' her. Maybe it's time for psychologists to add 'granny issues' to their vocabulary of disorders.

  • Apologies for double-dipping on the Responses, but as someone who's definitely outside the campaign process, I wonder if this isn't a terrible move for someone who theoretically hopes to get the 2012 nomination: if she's serious about running, why would she present herself as a nominee who rejects the attempts of professionals to get her elected–as someone who invariably Knows Better than the gray gnomes who work behind the scenes?

    I have to assume that high-level campaign professionals–the guys that the GOP employs regularly to get their people elected on important tickets, are a fairly select group of people. And that therefore most of these people were working on the McCain campaign. And that these would be the same people any GOP presidential candidate would need to get him/her nominated and elected. And that, having called these people incompetent buffoons, she is unlikely to have their enthusiastic support.

    If so, is she now viable? Even assuming that she might be wildly popular with the base, even assuming that the professionals, being professionals, will suck it up and do as they're told by the GOP kingmakers, doesn't her portrait of herself as someone who will not play by their rules kind of force them to say, behind closed doors, to the party powerbrokers, "Look, we can't make her do all the things that time and experience have shown that a candidate *has* to do to get elected. She *won't* do anything she doesn't want to do–and getting elected is mostly a year-long series of doing just that. If you make her the candidate, she will not do what we have always needed our candidates to do. At all."

    Perhaps I'm being naive–that this is all a big scam, wherein she pretends to be a maverick, while behind the scenes she tells the party, "I'm going to present myself as a total maverick and populist because that's a brand that will sell, but I will *totally* do what you guys want." There was a certain element of that to the Bush 2000 campaign.

    But if she's serious, and the response of the McCain people is serious, has she just shot herself in the foot? Or will there be enough Beck-inspired groundswell support that pushes her forward–enough volunteers and excited contributors to make the regular crew of campaign professionals unnecessary?

    These are not rhetorical questions–I'm curious to know what Ed and the rest of us think.

  • I've always thought that Sarah Palin was probably actually Andy Kaufman. He was punking us long before Kutcher, and I never really believed it when he died – kept waiting for him to reappear in some bizarre, extraordinary manner. Maybe this was it.

  • Re: the final line of the post, I find it very hard to believe, given the length of the book and the doubtless frustration that is contained in its pages, that it can be read in a mere four hours. Then again, I'm probably seriously overestimating its reading level.

  • Pathological liars often convince themselves of their own bullshit. Regardless, Palin never cared if she was called out (repeatedly), so it's interesting mainly from the psychological perspective – the result, constant and unashamed lying, is the same.

  • J Dryden raises a very interesting question there, and, if she was serious, she could probably attempt the same sort of dirty trick Shrubya pulled off — speaking to the rubes in their half-language while winking hard at the golden boys on Wall Street who write the actual checks for election campaigns — but there are two factors that might destabilize that scenario.

    One is her fundamental laziness; she just can't seem to be bothered to even go through the motions of getting herself past the primaries. In this sense, the relevant analogy is with Thompson, not Bush. He too was too comfortable to be bothered with the prolonged sweating of a real campaign. If she does take a stab at the nomination, in 2012, it may be as a ruse to rack up a few mil in campaign contributions, then drop out "for the good of the country" and keep the dough.

    The second is the altered dynamic inside the American Right. In 2000, Rove had found a way to get the wackos to toe the party line, and just trust him on that. But after eight years under the Cheney Shogunate, they still haven't gotten any of the things they really wanted — repealing Roe vs Wade, amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage, etc. Only Wall Street and the Neocons got what they asked for. And now the rubes are mad, and won't listen to the party elders any more. So, while the Caribous Barbie may enlist the help of Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace, after all, I doubt Erick Erickson and his mouth-breathers will let her seek the help of anyone associated with the 'old' GOP, hence tainted. For these psychopaths, anything 'moderate' Republican is damaged goods.

  • The answer is, yes, she is a psychopath with a messiah complex. This is also implied, but I'll say it explicitely: She is delusional – a serious and dangerous whack-job. Kinda like Cheney.

    The 69/Madden image is really unbearable. I might barf.

    Dryden – a messiah doesn't bother with practical considerations, or other aspects of reality.

    If the world makes any sense, this book is her act of poitical suicide.

    The Repugnicants have fractured along a myriad of fault lines on their way to the asylum, and the Demorats have become the party of big business and big money.

    We are SO fucked!

    Yours in agony,

  • jazz, the problem is the world makes absolutely NO sense, else Payload would never have emerged as anything more visible than, say, Sally Kern (or substitute your favorite obscure female right-wing-nut of choice). Had McCain not chosen her, would we have ever known she existed? Doubtful. She does owe him that much. As does Levi. It's all so random and horrible.

    And Ed, yes, for chrissakes, please don't ever mention Madden in context with my parents sex lives again. Better yet, just don't mention Madden again.

  • "The book, recession priced at just $9, is also an ideal gift for the Aunt or Uncle who assaults your email inbox with a dozen weekly communiqués on the President’s Kenyan birth and the constitutionality of income taxes."

    Oh, perfect! Now I know what to get Dad!

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    I think you are crediting her too much with the writing of the book. You know all these right-wing figures use ghost writers half the time.

  • i love you. thank you for putting into words my frustration about her and every other attempt at things like her in our current world. thank you.

  • I laughed until I cried. This is the best book review I have ever read. Thank you for the best read of the week. Memo to self: bookmark ginandtacos!

  • This is, without question, the best review that I have read in the last ten years of my adult, male life. Simply stunning…

  • What does she say about "Drill Baby, Drill!" Such a classic chant that epitomizes the emotional drama of those present at the Rupublican National Convention cannot be excluded for such a comprehensive work, can it?

  • Back in the 80s, there was this news report that permeated the Morning Zoo radio talk shows about how some woman had a seizure every time she heard Mary Hart's (Entertainment Tonight) voice. I've come to conclude that I have a similar affliction. But, instead of Mary Hart's voice being the trigger and seizures being the symptom, it is Palin's narcissistic greedy grin and nasally voice that is my trigger. The resulting action of vomitting on myself is the symptom.

  • Spot-on and bloody hilarious. Having watched her rapid popular ascendency in a thin vertical segment of the population was at first puzzling, then simply maddening. I can only reach the conclusion that those people who support her rabidly are infected with heretofore undiscovered brain parasites that affect the brain's critical thinking centers… or maybe they all work in industries employing immense amounts of mercury. Either way, they are all just shy of a clinical diagnosis of Bachmann.

    quick spelling correction: Hindenburg, not Hindeburg. feel free to edit out this portion of the comment; I couldn't find a ginandtacos.com email alias through my best divination efforts.

  • Like Charles Krauthammer, I'm not really a psychiatrist, and I haven't observed Sarah Palin in a controlled setting, but this might explain how liars work.

    They have no bloody idea they are doing it. Their brains naturally reach for explanations, regardless of truth.

  • Watching the antics of daily American life, from the other side of our great border, it is no surprise to me that Palin's book will sell millions of copies. Americans seem to do that – reward their worst through sheer idolatry by the mouth breathing masses. The fact that her book will do so well should serve as a wake up call to every thinking American, because the inmates at the asylum are just an election away from being in charge, a thought more terrifying than 69-ing parents.

  • anonymous coward says:

    I've tried to ignore Sarah Palin, the same way one would ignore an evil spirit; to say its name is to give it power, and almost as bad, help it sell books. Remember folks, this bombastic insanity is gonna pay off her legal bills, and she will profit besides that for what shes done and how she's acted, to the great detriment of our political culture, she is a rare and terrible amalgam of some of the worst aspects of our culture's warped and misshapenly applied ideals and virtues, which have already been distilled and redefined right to the bleeding edge of cognitive dissonance.

    And there is where I feel I might be getting my Strangelove moment. I feel I am beginning to understand.

    Palin will be the force that pushes that dissonance past the breaking point. She will gather her power and in the process break the lockstep of the GOP, while simultaneously serving as a wake up call to anyone with more than ten brain cells to rub together to find common interests across the left/right party lines, because they will come to know something like Palin can never be repeated in US national politics.

    Her messianic complex dovetails with the need of a New Movement Messiah, and while as a politician or stateswoman, she has a disaster potential that can only be quantified in exponents of Bush Units (BU^x), however her other 'qualities' like a raw, furiously burning ambition, lust for power and wealth, and remarkable first hand knowledge of the coded dialects that engage the seething paranoia and fear that dominates so much of her audiences mind. She will BE their messiah, and she shall break them with her coming. Bill Kristol had no idea what he was dealing with when he pulled her from obscurity, but now that she has tasted national attention and made the rounds through the back rooms, it kindled the same fire in her that burned in Nixon, but Nixon was clever in a way she is not, and Palin is charismatic, which was never a word said in the same sentence as Nixon. The three legged stoll of the GOP isn't standing straight, and the wobbly, more insane leg is fed up with the other two. Palin will part through the mire and muck and sacrifice moderation and reason on the altar of her own rhetoric and ambition, and it will be beautiful and terrifying to behold. In tapping her for attention, Kristol and the neocon's fed blood to the beast that would eat them all, Palin will burn like a furious firestorm, pulling with her the values voters and leaving the Business and 'Serious Foreign Policy' wings of the GOP as ashes in her path. It has already started in NY, and it will happen again and again as the frothing mad run primary candidates against repubs that do not conform to their rigid ideological purity. Palin could very well be the harbinger of the end of the modern incarnation of the GOP; concentrating and purifying the most rapid and ignorant while forcing anyone else who can think to find common ground against this virulent and ever shrinking minority of American political subcultures that requires violent paranoia and external enemies to hold them together. Well as this article points out, Palin found the enemies to focus her followers on, and they are other Republicans. So where I used to rec to people to not even use her name to deny her attention, now I hope her star burns with a magnificent and purifying force, shattering the machine that created her and leaving the burnt in shadows of the perplexed, and let some real change happen in the wake of her coming, so we can try to make the world make a little more sense, and prevent anything so absurd as someone like her coming so close to national level power ever again while the fragments of the GOP are busy picking up the pieces.
    Where before I would advise people not to even use her name, as the news makes sure to do it a good thousand times a week.

  • This review is sublime, but the best line is "half Ringling Brothers circus, half Triangle Shirtwaist fire." That is going to go into my repertoire. I'll be sure to credit you.

  • independentvoice says:

    It is astonishing that apparently by your juvenile attacks, and those of most posters, that this one woman can scare all of you so much. That is the true funny part of this site. By the way, it's Hindenburg, genius.

  • I think I can speak for the others posters, that it is not Palin that scares US…it is the fact that so many Americans can fall for her bull…If I had to pick between her and Cheney…I would pick Cheney (and he is pure EVIL). I think it is inconceivable that a person who can’t even name ONE newspaper that they have read…is bright enough to WRITE A BOOK!!! The McCain party knew what would happen if she opened her mouth…and that is what ultimately lost them the election. If all it takes is the charisma of Palin to win your vote…then during the next election, all the Republican Party has to do is wave a piece of aluminum foil in your face to get your attention, fart in the mic, and throw a pie into someone’s face…..

  • "Millions of copies will be sold of a book written by someone who can’t write, intended for an audience that doesn’t read, about the thoughts of a person who doesn’t think. God is dead." This is definitely destined to be included in the next edition of Roget's Thesaurus!

  • Fact-checkers are going to have a ball giving Sarahcuda's magnum opus the Surprise Buttsex treatment – cue wingnuts chanting "but facts have a liberal bias/this is why we love her: because she makes you terrorist-appeasing, freedom-hating lefties so mad" in 3 … 2 …

    This review is a flintstone made of win, spitting beautiful sparks as it hits a twirling wheel of weapons-grade stupidity.

  • It doesn't matter. At this point, everyone in this country has made up his/her mind on Palin, and nothing will ever, ever change that. The 23% or whatever think of her as a Jesus-George Washington blend with tits, and everyone else knows how truly stupid and terrifying she is. I don't see her winning the election in 2012; she hurt McCain in 2008 because of how dumb she is, and you don't just get smarter at her age.

  • This gintacian review has the aroma of a pig pen and the texture of Joan Rivers' neck. All book reviewers blow.

  • I do not know you. I do not even know if you are male or female. But I do know this. You are without a shadow of a doubt, the most brilliantly funny writer that I have read since the horror of your 2000 election made this Canadian begin to sit up wide-eyed with fear about the holocaust of stupidity that was about to ensue. And to be obsessively fascinated with American politics ever since.

    This one book review from you rescues for me many hours of outraged anxiety at the folly of the world. I salute you. I bless you. Nay, I worship at your feet

  • Brian Ansorge says:

    Well, if the book is half as bad as the above *rant* lipsticked-up as a "review," then I will pass. I couldn't make it through more than a few random sentences — obviously written by some petulant whiner who represents the typical elitist liberal.

    Which, by the way, don't they have something else to be doing? Something more important? Like trying to ram-rod through Obamacare or generating support for all their *other* failing social programs and financial bailouts?

    Just curious. Or are they all too preoccupied/obsessed with what Sarah is wearing today and what she is doing now that she is out of political office?

    A liberal is somebody who blows smoke up their own ass (and anybody else who has drunk the Kool-Aid) in an effort to convince their self they really *are* half as smart as they *think* they are.

    You know, the sort of person at the party who — no matter what they *start* off talking about — *always* end up talking about either: a) their self; or b) the person(s) they are most threatened by and hate.

    Truth be known: Liberals = Haters

  • Brian Ansorge says:

    Oh, if we can have a candidate win a Presidential election largely because he is half-white/half-black, why is it unthinkable (and undesirable) to have a candidate win because she has great legs and bakes a mean batch of brownies?

    Hypocrisy is sleazy any way you look at it. And, our once-great country is going down the tubes with the ineptness of Barrack "Dubya the Second" Obama and all his cronies.

  • An 'independent' voice coming to defend Sarahcuda. This is much like 'Impartial Observers for Mussolini.' 'Objectivists for Vladimir Putin.' 'Logicians for Khomeini.' 'Rationalists for Pol Pot.' 'Freethinkers for the House of Saud.'

  • Gregory Perry says:

    What's funnier is the amount of time you spent on this article, further giving publicity to her book. There is no such thing as bad publicity, and the opposite of love is not hate – it's indifference.

  • Starscream: How about, "Jesus-George Washington blend with fivefold-suckled tits"?

    If it's readership you craved, Ed, it looks like you just got it. Write about the Northern Buffoon, and all kinds of clowns come out of the woodwork. The kind of clown who thinks it's partial and prejudice to call a pig, a pig. At least now we can put give an objective measure to the number of incurable dimwits in America: 23%. Subtract that from W's 28 percenters, and you get a reliable estimate for the number of domestic sociopaths.

  • I am grateful for your review and even more grateful to hear that you did not contribute the $9 to her cause by buying a copy. While I will not read the fantasy in question, I found your handling of it the most entertaining thing I had seen in a week.

  • Maybe you missed the forward: "this work is purely fictional, and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental"

  • It is my opinion that Palin is a dangerous moron, and her popularity presages an epoch ending political disaster. Her ascent is positively stupefying to me. That said, this is not a book review. This is a misguided, self congratulatory and slanderous rant. At what point do you offer specific evidence from the text, with verifiable refuting evidence? You're playing at the same game she is, and we are all going to be living in the dark ages if we don't begin to demand intellectual rigor of ourselves as well as others.

    Daniel S. Meyers, Porltand Oregon.

  • "skirted the line between chaos and comedy – half Ringling Brothers circus, half Triangle Shirtwaist fire"


    best Rogue snark yet. thx.

    (Yeah, I too get really tired of 'characters' that won't render decently. Haven't they figured that shit out yet? If firefox won't render it out of the box, it's non-standard, and you should dump whatever's doing it.)

  • @Pmrichars – they wouldn't even have to go to that much effort. They'd just have Faux Noise "speculate" and quote "informed sources" on how the Palin drones were "expected" to do such things, and the subjects of a once-free country will, once again, fall straight in line to oppose their own best interests.

  • Kuntfukustodean says:

    I nominate this line as the best:
    Going Rogue is to the art of writing what the Holocaust is to the concept of a just God.

    I for one would like to salute our new reptilian overlord…

  • Whatever you think of her and her views, don't underestimate her, as did former Alaskan Governors Tony Knowles (D) and Frank Murkowski(R). Prior to her run as Veep, she had an over 70% approval rating here in AK, as she took on "Big Oil" and old repug hacks, and demonstrated an independence from politics as usual.

  • Breathtaking rant! I'm not sure it's a review of Palin's "book," but it's certainly an excellent dissection of Palin. As far as I'm concerned, "…half Ringling Brothers circus, half Triangle Shirtwaist fire," is the perfect description of the whole bizarre Palin phenomenon. Well done.

  • Tonight I saw this huge ass spider drop down on my bed & then disappear; I was so freaked out I was pacing and couldn't even go in the bedroom (it might be there).

    then someone sent me this gem post of a site and now i'm lolz-ing all the way to bed. Thanks dude!

  • A good article but this site is designed poorly. Ditch the Futura and quit pasting shit in straight from Word. It's all fucked up.

  • well … we DO have this (apparently) not very book to thank for this highly entertaining review … so – there is THAT …

    i, too, think i will have nightmares about the "parents-69-ing-with-Madden-play-by-play" thing – thanks so much …

  • What fawcking idiot thought it would be a good idea to use some non-standard text encoding? Nice job, you tawrd. Who's the inept illiterate boob now. Your entire website design suxa55too, why not just shrink the text area to 100×100 pixels so you can make more room for your lame graphix. I.D.1.0.T.

  • Brian Ansorge says:

    I forgot to mention "Moralists for Congressman William Jefferson." My bad. But the ironies never seem to end.

  • Laughing at you Brian says:


    Seriously. Anyone who is still dry humping Clinton's 'Morality' after the 8 year pseudo-patriotic bender that has cost more in lives, reputation, money than you can fathom apparently is right there on Palin's level.

    Yeah…Bill liked chubby Jewish Chicks…but he didn't start a war based on bullshit. Those wars have had a lot more 'moral effect' than one blowjob ever will. I will never understand that sex = evil/immoral thing you guys got going on. He also did the Republicans' job better than they can but I'm going over your heads with the shit you promise and a realistic political compass.

    I think there's like 50 folks laughing at Palin and 3 of you here (and I love the guy who calls himself and 'independent' upstream) who think she's got some substance. Fix your party. Folksy idiots with no education are not the solution to your broken party.

    And you only need to post once. We get the idea. You disagree with the author, 2001-2008 were really fun filled economic/ethical successes, and your panties are in a bunch.

    Voting for her if (I mean 'when') she runs is not showing us 'libruls' (that's anyone to the left of Cheney or smarter than a mushroom. It's shooting us all in the collective foot.

  • Think SP had a momentary lapse of memory when Katie Couric asked her what she reads in terms of newspapers and magazines. 'All of 'em. None of 'em. What's there to say…'

    For the record, she reads Vogue, Woman's Day and Guns & Ammo.

  • You had me at "Going Rogue is shit" haha. Palin is a disturbing figure in American Politics. If we elect her as president, I'll seriously consider a move to Canada.

  • Excellent review.
    I am impressed that she actually did use words in the writing of the opus.
    Perhaps that is the major impediment to her convincing the American electorate her true qualifications for major political office . . . her use of words….? who needs words, the bricks of thought? They only obfuscate.

    America as a (w)hole is no longer capable of critical thinking.

    The post 9/11 rush to MidEastern war and occupation was as blindly accepted as was once the idea of the Sheer Abyss at land's end.
    Palin, image and fiction, simply plugs into the prevailing paradigm.

    America isn't merely in the toilet: it's swirling faster and getting darker by the moment. And the projected pictures wallpapering the porcelain path are there for pure amusement, for distraction while the rich plunder.
    Palin doesn't really exist, any more than Hollywood cinematic roles.

    Although I must confess a certain fascination with the elevation of trailerpark core values to mainstream politics . . . Goebbels must be SO proud.

  • Duverger's outlaw says:

    For all the people complaining about coding, change your respective character encoding settings to unicode.

    Oh, and this review is bloody brilliant. Well played sir

  • @J. Dryden — responding to your comment on why would Palin disregard her advisors.

    I'd like to point out some similarities between Palin at the head of state in Germany from the 1930s to 1945. Both seem to think they know better than the specialists that report to them on how to do the specialist's job. In Germany, the ruler routinely managed details of military operations over the objections of his military officials. History is filled with the What-If on potential outcomes if only the ruler had listened to the advice of his generals.

    Today, Palin appears to be doing exactly the same kinds of things.

    Now, I am not a psychiatrist. I don't play one on TV either. However, the parallels to "Malignant Narcisissm" do come to mind. May I suggest this as an explanation for Palin's strange behavior.

    Citation Needed?

  • Djinn n Cthonic says:

    Word on the street is Sarah is "kind of a creationist". I don't believe word one of that. Being kind of a creationist is like being kind of a moron. She's a shields-to-maximum-power moron.

  • McCain and team are so upsert with the lies in this book… the only ones that are behind this book is Fox can you imagine.. I looked for the book in a store that had a discount book bin.. lady said to try next week. Hve not read the book, will not read the book, do not care what the bood says…

  • Marty from North Dakota says:

    We lose a thousand and we get fired. They lose a billion and they get more money and a nicer office. That is the difference between capitalism and governmentalism.

  • Joakim Vilandt says:

    This was indeed a hilarious review, and I cry for America if you give her the nuke button in 2012.

    I haven't read the book myself, and never will.

    … But seriously, 23% of Americans actually LIKE this idiot?

  • Great minds talk about ideas; mediocre minds talk about things; small minds talk about people. Thanks for sharing your opinion so now we know into which category you belong.

  • Chazzam: The saying goes differently. Great minds talk about ideas; mediocre minds talk about other people; and small ones talk about themselves. If you appear to take issue with our reviewer here, in which category does Sarah Palin belong.

    I also contemplated your implicit suggestion that, in engaging with Sarah Palin, great minds ought to address her ideas. I laughed so hard, that I now have to wipe coffee off my keyboard. You're a funny dude.

  • I do not think Sarah Palin was a good choice for VP but there is nothing more worthless than a political "scientist" and it is laughable that such a person would criticize the ability of other people to write, read, and think. You are an oxygen depletor and a do nothing parasite. If you were truly intelligent, then you would have pursued a degree in a real discipline.

  • Milesius, methinks you doth protest too much. You don't happen to be a former seller of derivatives and credit-default swaps, do you? They also worked under the delusion that they were holding real jobs, of real utility to the nation. What is it that you do, to afford to be so withering to political scientists?

    Should you re-read the review here more carefully (if you were ever taught that in school), you'd see that the Palin woman is criticized for her failure to think. She made it real hard to anybody to divine, much less criticize, what she "thinks." In fact, she proudly stands for the America that doesn't think. Thinking is for eggheads and liberals, don't you know?

    Do you ever think?

  • A memorable review, saving me much misery. Thank you.

    Just FYI, there's a nasty character set problem with this page, all of your punctuation marks are coming out as bizarre WTF marks on my screen. Everyone else I've discussed the review with has the same problem. You might want to take a look at it.

  • Is there someplace I can read this without all the excess punctuation that only robots understand? I can't get through it as is, and I really wanted to.

  • Nice article. Regarding the funny characters people mentioned, if you use FireFox, just change View->Character Encoding to Unicode to fix that.

  • Ditto on the crazy punctuation issues. That said, I review books for a living, and this review kicks ass–in my professional opinion. Forwarding to friends, family & colleagues!

  • Excellent review, Ed, and one of the funniest I've read in quite some time. I have to wonder, though, if you have noticed her resemblance to another person in denial–O.J. Simpson. I see so many parallels between them, except almost everyone hates him and so many inexplicably love her.

  • Hi – I love your rant but the punctuation, especially the quote marks, causes serious problems and stray characters on my firefox for the mac. It renders your piece almost unreadable. I hope you can fix this somehow.

  • I will honestly admit that I have read this book. I will honestly say that I did so while enjoying a Latte from Starbucks (Note: I'm trying to lose weight, and considering how nasty the local Starbucks is at making a decent Latte, the book actually improved it. Yes, sad isn't it?).

    And before anyone acts SHOCKED! SHOCKED! that I would give up my hard earned money on this tome, rest assured that after I was done, I closed the cover, put it back on the shelf (in the fiction section. Oops!), bought a Mt. Dew to wash out the bad taste in my mouth (caused by both the book AND the Latte), and drove home, confident in my knowledge that when I go to confront the local Neocon Nutjob, I will be able to do so knowing I read the word straight from the Horse's Asshole (quite appropriate considering Mrs. Palin's reputation and her acknowledged view to the west — shame the horse is facing east).

    And a brief digression: most guys love her simply because she keeps winking at them. Personally, the habit disgusts me. Her facial tick reminds me a great deal of my ex-girlfriend's uncle's final hours, just after the stroke that claimed his life. The only difference is that he had redeeming qualities about him (in marked contrast to both Sarah and my ex-girlfriend).

  • When I see the pictures of this woman on tour with her prop TRI-g and her family I am appalled.

    When I read anything she has a hand in, well I can't express the depth of my disgust it is so visceral and deep

    Thank you and Andrew Sullivan for something actually WORTH reading

  • Instead of thinking of Palin as a shockingly bad politician who came within shouting distance of the Presidency, I find it helpful to think of her as a highly successful performance artist. I find that my blood pressure stays much lower if I wonder when she'll take a bow and drop her "terrifying rube" persona, instead of worrying that at some point she'll have her finger on the nuclear (sorry, "nukuler") button.

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