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Book Review: Going Rouge: Sarah Palin – An American Nightmare edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed

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I could not believe this line from the Introduction: “Appearances aside, it [the title Going Rouge] had nothing to do with the fact that Sarah Palin’s forthcoming memoir is called Going Rogue; any similarities are purely coincidental.” What a laugh! My own library system initially labeled their 28 copies as Going Rogue, rather than the correct title of Going Rouge.

I bring this up because it is such a perfect example of the sanctimony of the left, which translates into a total loss of credibility for the editors. You cannot even get through the introduction to the book without them shooting themselves in the foot. Yes, Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, we believe that your punning title was purely coincidental. You bet.

How lame can you get? Denying your own little jab at Palin. Take a lesson from W, or Sarah herself for goodness sakes. Go for the kill! Ruthlessness at all costs are what politics are about, or have you not learned that by now?

The best political book I have read this year was Revolution In Seattle, by Harvey O’Connor. It is a reprint of his memoirs, which were originally published in 1963. It is an absolutely brilliant discussion of the workers vs. management wars that existed in the timberlands of the Pacific Northwest from the 1880s to roughly 1932.

A lot of good people lost their lives in those struggles. Even though we are a couple of generations removed from the all-out labor battles of yesteryear, the war rages on. While it may be considered simplistic to break the sides down to their basic components, it is also pretty accurate. Management and big business are represented by the GOP, by the likes of Sarah Palin. Conversely, labor and the “common man,” have been represented by the Democrats, President Obama being a shining example of this, as was President Clinton.

As O’Connor notes in his book, “…The New Deal, with it’s labor and social legislation was an adequate answer to [their] dreams.” Some 70+ years later, the right-wing are still trying to undo the gains made under FDR. But they never had a hot chick to do their dirty work before. I’m sorry Ann Coulter, but you are just kind of frightening. Sarah is instinctually able to flirt with every man in her audience, and probably the women too. It is how she gets her way.

Going Rouge strips away the pretty face, and exposes the dark heart underneath. The essays anthologized here are broken down into eight sections, with such pun-filled titles as “Palintology,“ and “Half Baked Alaska.“ My personal favorite comes from the section “The Palin Pageant,“ and is an essay by Tom Perrotta titled “The Sexy Puritan.“ A close second comes from the pen of Michelle Goldberg, “Flirting Her Way To Victory.“

Going Rouge features a total of 49 essays about the woman from Wasilla, AK, written by a number of prominent writers. Among the contributors are Gloria Steinem, Robert Reich, Naomi Klein, and Matt Taibbi. Taibbi’s “Mad Dog Palin,” which first appeared in Rolling Stone, is absolutely hilarious.

Unsurprisingly, the most memorable pieces in Going Rouge are the funny ones. There is a lot of righteous indignation in the book, mostly coming from articles reprinted from The Nation, but the stuff that works best treats the Palin phenomenon as the sad joke it is. Tina Fey’s impersonation on Saturday Night Live remains the gold standard in that regard, but there are some great articles in here that do as well.

The full title of the book is Going Rouge: Sarah Palin – An American Nightmare. Whether you agree or not with the sentiment, the book is an excellent representation of an angry left-wing. Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is now a fixture in American politics, and will remain that way for some time I believe. Going Rouge attempts to tear down the myth, and is worth reading if for no other reason than to see what the Democrat's fury at her looks like in full bloom.

Ignore the chickenshit Introduction, this is a group of pissed-off Lefties who have somehow mustered the nerve to tell it like it is.

Merry Christmas, Sarah.

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About Greg Barbrick

  • This is what an empty headed prop sounds like as she guts the health care bill under consideration in the US Senate.

    Have a gander at this, courtesy of (oh, this is rich) the dominionist Christian who is so contemptuously put down by so many at this magazine.

    From the link, a quote from a Facebook page:

    No one is certain of what’s in the bill, but Senator Jim DeMint spotted one shocking revelation regarding the section in the bill describing the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (now called the Independent Payment Advisory Board), which is a panel of bureaucrats charged with cutting health care costs on the backs of patients – also known as rationing. Apparently Reid and friends have changed the rules of the Senate so that the section of the bill dealing with this board can’t be repealed or amended without a 2/3 supermajority vote. Senator DeMint said:

    “This is a rule change. It’s a pretty big deal. We will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law. I’m not even sure that it’s constitutional, but if it is, it most certainly is a senate rule. I don’t see why the majority party wouldn’t put this in every bill. If you like your law, you most certainly would want it to have force for future senates. I mean, we want to bind future congresses. This goes to the fundamental purpose of senate rules: to prevent a tyrannical majority from trampling the rights of the minority or of future congresses.”

    In other words, Democrats are protecting this rationing “death panel” from future change with a procedural hurdle. You have to ask why they’re so concerned about protecting this particular provision. Could it be because bureaucratic rationing is one important way Democrats want to “bend the cost curve” and keep health care spending down?

    The Congressional Budget Office seems to think that such rationing has something to do with cost. In a letter to Harry Reid last week, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf noted (with a number of caveats) that the bill’s calculations call for a reduction in Medicare’s spending rate by about 2 percent in the next two decades, but then he writes the kicker:

    “It is unclear whether such a reduction in the growth rate could be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care.”

    Though Nancy Pelosi and friends have tried to call “death panels” the “lie of the year,” this type of rationing – what the CBO calls “reduc[ed] access to care” and “diminish[ed] quality of care” – is precisely what I meant when I used that metaphor.

    See what I mean by gutting salmon? Enjoy….

  • The presidential election, if it is held at all, will not be held tomorrow or next year, Glenn. This is a point you tend to miss. By 2012, Palin may be an irrelevant blip. By 2012, the economy may have made Obama look like an idiot – or a dictator (which is what he is trying to pull off right now).

    And you seem to think I am for the woman. She says the things I want to hear. But she would not be my president, Glenn. And because she is from a dominionist Christian church, she is someone I’d watch very carefully.

    You also think the woman can’t win. And today, she can’t. But tomorrow is another day and in politics, a week is a long time, a year, an eternity.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    Y’know, the sky isn’t really falling. I DO so hope that Ms. Palin gets the Republican nomination in 2012. Why? Because while the Republican core – the Rabid Right – can’t see her for what she is, many (and perhaps most) moderate Republicans do. Short of rigging the elections (as with electronic voting machines that leave NO verifiable paper trail made by Republican-donor manufacturers, and which have been shown to be able to be hacked within minutes), there is absolutely no way Ms. Palin would win the presidency. Even if it wasn’t Obama OR Hillary, even if the Democrats ran Mickey Mouse for a candidate, Palin couldn’t win.

    Why? Because rather than voting FOR the Democrat, most would be voting AGAINST Palin.

    So I hope she runs! I hope she’s the GOP candidate! And maybe, just maybe she’ll choose the other GOP heartthrob Liz Cheney as her VP nom! Boy, wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants!

  • Paul,

    You, like so many others, are condescendingly dismissive of Sarah Palin.

    You write: Sarah strikes me as an empty headed prop who won a popularity contest at a small high school gymnasium by intimidating the other girls and romancing the administration. It looks like she bites the hand that feeds her as she turned on McCain the first chance she got – which was immediately.

    That may be what it looks like to you. But, because the woman makes sense, can identify with the common man (or woman) and does not sound like a farty snob from Washington, is precisely why her book is making her independently wealthy, while this piece of sanctimonious trash is just struggling along.

    Sarah Palin became and was a governor, only quitting because the lawsuits against her were getting too onerous on her own budget and that of the State of Alaska. Now that she has the independent wealth she needs, she can use lawyers to gut her critics the way she herself would gut a salmon. And don’t doubt that the day will come that she will do that. Behind that pretty smile is a barracuda who will settle accounts with the arrogant fools in the media who have tried to cut her down because she did not belong to an élite. Don’t join their club.

    You ignore the dominionist Christian denomination she comes from to your own peril. You fail to comprehend that she is using Facebook to do in months what Ronald Reagan needed years to do on the lecture circuit – develop a national and loyal constituency.

    You keep underestimating this woman. It is not that she is a hot number, or terribly brilliant that makes her a person to watch out for. It is that she learned from the time she was a young woman how to inspire and lead, to inspire and lead from the gut and from the heart. You laugh with contempt now. Wait till you see the looks in the eyes of those who will follow her in the near future and you will shiver with fear.

  • Thoughts on Sarah Palin and the United States of America

    Sarah strikes me as an empty headed prop who won a popularity contest at a small high school gymnasium by intimidating the other girls and romancing the administration. It looks like she bites the hand that feeds her as she turned on McCain the first chance she got – which was immediately.

    That’s the kind of class and dignity we are looking for in a President (?) – Sorry Palin worshipers she may be a sociopath.

    The President of the United States is a very serious job. Our spin doctors and campaign managers have turned it into a high school popularity contest, but in reality the stakes are much higher.

    You can not govern by slogan. Look at the damage done by deregulating Wall Street. That move was promoted and championed because of two words “free market”. Nice concept but in the intricate world of market economies a complete fallacy. You can not govern by cute little slogans. “Trickle Down” has lead to the unconscionable concentration of wealth in 1% of the population through subsidies and give aways of our tax dollars to the corporate insiders who place their people in our government.

    Granted its a costly game of brinkmanship, sloganeering and manipulation to get the population to vote one way or the other, but at the end of the day to the extent we relinquish control and fall prey to easy answers big corporate america runs the show.

    And corporatist and corporate america are unqualified to govern the country because their focus is too singular on their particular profit margins. Great focus for a successful business but absolutely wrong and a severe lack of vision for guiding this huge country over the realities of our collective landscape.

    The fruit of their electioneering of politics has created an us against them mentality among the citizens in our Country. And it has created an artificial out of touch ruling class that cares only for the acquisition of personal wealth. The reality is that we are all in this together. And if we don’t make room for one another there will be trouble no matter how right one group thinks they are over another.

    That is hardly the Country we all want or aspire to and not the vision of the United States we all desire to see unfold. In short we are better than that.

    While Sarah might be a fascinating soap opera of a character, fun to loath or root for she is only qualified for a People Magazine Cover in the same respect of a Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan – what will she do/say next escapade.

    All of these new media celebrities are the same version of the same m.o. – say or do something shocking to get the world of rubber neckers gawking just like the well worn metaphor of a car wreck.

    Whether Glenn Beck is crying or predicting something ludicrous or Rush is flame throwing and lambasting something even he doesn’t believe, or some new media celeb is releasing a sex tape – its all shock value in the mode and method Howard Stern used to get famous and rich.

    That may be one way to achieve a personal goal of wealth and fame but that personality trait is absolutely the worst trait to reward in our politicians.

    Good governance requires good citizenship an understanding of how our Country works as a Nation of laws, the intricacies of the market place and in getting along with other people who may not share your same views, culture, beliefs and habits. It requires a true patriotism not in name alone but a commitment to actually put the Country and the people first over individual gain, profit and popularity.

    Forcing ones self and opinion down another’s throat doesn’t win you many friends. No matter how right you think you are its counter productive and tone deaf.

    Creating a nation and world where we are “free to be” as long as we don’t hurt each other and live sustainably side by side is the goal. Jumping up and down screaming my way or the highway leads to bloodshed.

    I would put forth that if you aren’t living by these two rules of thumb “live and let live” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – it is you no matter what bible you are carrying or what uniform you are wearing that is doing the wrong thing.

    That’s Pollyanna thinking for the Alpha Dogs like Palin but in actuality the alpha dogs are the ones who are clueless when it comes to anything other than their own selfish- self interest.

    That kind of self absorbed me first focus might be good for ones bottom line but it’s one helluva lousy way to “govern” a Country.

    North Korea goes rogue not the President of the United States.

    Paul Burke
    Author-Journey Home

  • Greg Barbrick


    You are correct about the spelling of Betsy’s name, I will get it fixed ASAP.

    As for the “sarcastic” intro, I don’t buy it. It reads like 100% typical liberal waffling. You know, PC and all that crap.

    Obviously, President Obama didn’t need James Carville, but I sure do miss the bulldog attitude.


  • Greg Barbrick

    Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    Just to be clear, my opening paragraphs were written as an intentional “slap” at the editors.

    The “pussy-footing” they did in the Intro showed me that they did not have the courage of their convictions. Carville never would have put such a caveat in.


  • zingzing

    “She didn’t get to be a governor by smiling and spreading her legs, zing”

    i assure you it was one of those things.

    “Find out about her church, dude.”

    oh, i’ve seen it. tis very scary. that’s what i refer to when i talk of backwards hicks. just stir in a bit of voodoo for spice, i guess.

    “Otherwise, zing, the “backward hicks” who back her will have their boots in your face,”

    we’ve already tasted that boot. no need to go there again.

    “She has a real audience and they are paying close attention.”

    yep. not that i find that completely amazing. some people are just plain dumb.

  • ruvy. stop staring at her tits.

    Hey zing!

    I’m not pushing Palin and I’m not pushing her book. I’m warning you. There is more to her than her pretty face, aw shucks Minnesota accent and all the rest of the shit. Don’t read what the “intellectual” rubes write about her, and don’t become one of those rubes yourself. She didn’t get to be a governor by smiling and spreading her legs, zing. Find out about her church, dude. That’s what makes Sarah run. Find out what makes her run and you’ll understand a lot more of what you are seeing.

    Otherwise, zing, the “backward hicks” who back her will have their boots in your face, and they are gonna have one fuckin’ good time watching you scream while they kick that face of yours in.

    She has a real audience and they are paying close attention.

    I’m paying close attention too – and I’m not part of that “audience”.

  • zingzing

    yeah, roger. i was referencing w. above. we’ve heard this joke before. rape me in the ass once, shame on you, but you ain’t going to do it again. that is, unless a whole shitload of people think otherwise.

    one of the most popular viral videos on the internet right now shows people waiting in line for a palin book signing. the interviewer asks various people exactly what they like about palin. it’s all “freedom,” “liberty” and “american way of life.” i’m sure the editing is… suspect… but it looks like some of these people didn’t get the joke the first time around. the country doesn’t need to wait to let these backwards hicks catch up.

  • Hey, zing, it’s populism at its best – hometown girl makes good. It’s no different, really, from the appeal of George Dubya: a country hick rising to presidency.

    Things don’t change as quick as you would like. There’s a die-heart remnant. Witness their coming out in defense of Queen Sarah.

  • Randall Thorpe

    Who cares about spiteful, supercilious lefties? Sarah Palin is publishing gold. Every wannabe “journalist”, blogger, and hack writer wants her name in a caption. People should read the real deal:”Going Rogue-An American Life”.

  • zingzing

    jesus, ruvy. stop staring at her tits.

    “someone with the kind of sophistication Washington insiders do not know how to handle”

    yes, the manufactured “folksy” hick bit worked so damn well last time. but you’re right… washington didn’t know how to handle it. they didn’t know to just kick the ignorant, ill-informed puppet to the curb and go directly after his master.

    now, i know what you’ll say. and i expect you could even reveal your conspiracy as to which arabs are running obama, but let’ stick to palin here.

    how, exactly, do you explain her performance during the primary last year? do you think she did a good job? or do you think she hijacked and sunk that bid? her interviews were laughable, she stunk of small town myopia and she couldn’t seem to formulate a complete original thought at all.

    she’s been ripped apart time and again by political opponents, exposed as a gussied-up fraud. my god, the woman quit her office because she couldn’t hack it. and hunting bears is disgusting. barbaric woman. she’s a national joke and you fell into her cleavage.

  • icarus

    It’s obvious the “title is a coincidence” bit in the introduction is a joke. How could you not realize that?

  • I’ve read neither the real Palin book nor this piece of garbage. Just a list of the authors of its “essays” tells me the quality of this em “book” – toilet paper is what it is good for – or burning in a fireplace to keep a house warm on a cold winter day.

    The real fact checking comes not from these sanctimonious fools – it comes from reading Sarah Palin on Facebook, watching her interviews, and paying careful attention to her expressions as she speaks. It also comes from realizing that this is a smart young lady who is tough, resourceful, able to skin not merely bears but political opponents, and someone with the kind of sophistication Washington insiders do not know how to handle – it goes way over their clogged heads.

  • Steve

    “Ignore the chickenshit Introduction, this is a group of pissed-off Lefties who have somehow mustered the nerve to tell it like it is.”

    Exactly how is it? I love that the left is unable to entice readers into buying their blather so they drum up “reviews.”

    Sarah’s having a Merry Christmas already. Or did you not hear, Going ROGUE is the number one book of the year and has alread outsold both of Obama’s.

    To the liberal “contributors” of this comic book — “good luck!”

    Nobody likes a copycat and nobody is impressed with such apparent baby-tantrum behavior.

  • Thomas markham

    You do realize that intro was sarcasm right? ” purely coincidental” wa obviously a joke. What’s not a joke are palins interventions on healthcare and climate change – just outright lies. I disagree with healthcare reform, but death panels were never true. It hurts our case to be criticizing something with lies when the truth is bad enough.

    That’s why I never mind a book like this. Palin is a public figure making a lot of political arguments on a national book tour. She deserves to be debated an fact-checked. all publi figures do.

    I may not agree with the book but there is nothing wrong with it being written, which some of the commenters seem to think. And I heard the authors on the radio – around 10k have sold. Not palin level but not 12 either – respectable.

    Oh – it’s Betsy.

  • SP Watcher

    Thank you for this book. it’s crucial to have analysis and debate of people who are running for office, like what people say or not.

    Some people for some reason just want to idolize her. She’s applying for the job of one of the most influential people in government.

    Maybe we should really take a close look at her resume and prior performance.

    Hey, if we’re going to be married to her for at least four years, don’t you want to know what she’s really got between her ears?

  • TJ

    And…how many copies of this rabid left wing garbage have they sold? Oh yeah. Probably 12 – all to their relatives.