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Accept No Substitutes

What to do? Go with Rogue or the roguish Rouge? Fox News, among others, is confused!

Book Cover Allow me to speculate that if you found your way to this space and stayed on, that you are in no danger of wasting your time reading the latest product of failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's ambition--her number-one bestselling whatchamacallit, Going Rogue. Though I think Palin is not worthy of much attention and am dismayed that even intelligent analysts are contorting themselves in efforts to explain her popularity with some small but active and vocal constituency, it would be a head-in-the-sand reaction to completely ignore her. No, we can't have that, can we?

Which brings me to Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, an American Nightmare edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, two partisans from that well-known pinko echo chamber, the Nation. Kim and Reed have assembled a splendid anthology of commentary and analysis regarding what at the least is an unsettling political phenomenon: a former office holder and apparent office seeker who on the face of it has none of the qualifications we normally expect from such. Contributors are some of the usual suspects--Frank Rich, Max Blumenthal, Juan Cole, and Joe Conason--and some that are not--Tom Perrotta, Hanna Rosin, Jeff Sharlet, Matt Taibbi, and Rebecca Traister.

In Going Rouge's introduction Kim and Reed offer these insights:
Looking back, progressives and feminists did an admirable job in picking apart the GOP's first female vice presidential nominee. When they attacked, they did so largely for the right reasons. In this book, we have assembled highlights from the reporting and commentary on her rise...

As it turned out, at the ballot box, most Americans proved they were able to see through the glossy packaging and peg Palin for what she was: a Christian fundamentalist opposed to the teaching of honest sex education in schools and in favor of teaching creationism alongside evolution, a climate-change-denier and government-basher alarmingly ignorant of the world and totally unprepared to be president. Women voted overwhelmingly for Obama--56 percent to 43 percent for McCain/Palin--while men were about evenly split. Exit surveys showed that Palin was a drag on the Republican ticket.

But as we've seen, this is a woman with at least nine lives. By our count, having crashed and burned in Election 2008 and resigned ignominiously as governor, she's still got seven left.
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