That Palin Book

I’ve been asked if I have any particular thoughts about Sarah Palin’s new book, and the short answer is no, not really; I haven’t read it, and I’m not going to be going out of my way to read it, either. It’ll get enough buyers, some of whom will even get through the thing. She’ll get along fine without me adding to her tally.

Aside from this, there’s nothing about the dynamic around the release which I find terribly surprising. The reviews from mainstream outlets are generally negative and/or dismissive, and that’s good for Palin, as she can use that to solidify her bona fides with the outraged folk who constitute her primary demographic, and so on and so forth. It’s a dance, basically, in which everyone knows their moves and when to bow to their partner, and so far everyone’s hitting their marks.

As to whether this augurs a 2012 presidential run, honestly, who knows. I think Palin’s enjoying herself doing what she’s doing and at the moment not thinking too much about what comes after it. At this point 2012 will take care of itself.

127 thoughts on “That Palin Book

  1. Palin in 2012…. Suddenly, the Mayan predictions for the end of the world occurring in 2012 make a whole lot more sense….

  2. I really hope she runs for president. The chaos of the primaries and the damage to the GOP will be beautiful to behold.

    But I’m not going to waste time reading a book about her. It’s largely not even by her anyway.

  3. Just a thought: How many of her followers also believe that the world will be destroyed in 2012? If it is a large percentage then would they even care about a 2012 presidential run?

  4. zacwight:

    Well, the end of the world in that case would be December 21st — i.e., after the election. So they might as well get in one last presidential vote.

  5. Dane @ 4: I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show “Supernatural” but this season there was an episode of the show where one of the main characters goes forward in time four years. It is the Apocolypse, big time. One of the signs of the Apocolypse was Sarah Palin being elected President. They showed a newspaper with the headline “President Palin defends bombing Houston.”

    I don’t know why your comment brought that to mind…

  6. John,

    IF you have to read her book, borrow it from the library. Saves you money and you do not end up increasing her royalties so much.

    I read many authors for the first time on a library copy to decide if I want to spend my money (I ain’t rich!!). And in case you are curious, I actually bought your book OMW on a whim, and was so happy I bought a bunch more by you!!! Now I read the library copy of your book and keep my own copy in pristine condition…

    Cheers

    Michael

  7. @5: Why wait til year’s end? She’ll be in Cincinnati and Columbus Friday. Go experience the carnival — at both events — and we’ll pay you to write it up like we did for the Creation Museum.

    ::waves sawbuck::

    Do it for the children. What else you got scheduled? The zombies’ll keep…

  8. One thing she has going for her, she is far easier on the eyes and easier to listen to that Hillary…..
    Given the way Obama is driving the country aimlessly we may not make it 2012 anyway.

  9. Michael @10

    That means the public library has to waste its budget on it – and I’m guessing there are vastly superior books out there than this one.

  10. will she run in 2012?
    Youbetcha! – the question is on which ticket? my almost completely uninformed opinion is that the congressional election in upsate New York by a ‘Conservative Party’ candidate presages a schism of the GOP – Palin would then run on the Conservative Ticket (as the new and improved GOP wouldn’t have her)

    of course – she’d lose, miserably, but congress would have a few seats that are held by the new party

    would this make the GOP stronger when the basest of their base jump ship? I think so – it would certainly make the GOP more moderate.

    Personally I’d like to see 4 or 5 parties in the congress where none have a majority

  11. Jeff Hentosz @11: The event in Cincinnati, at least, has been sold out, according to Joseph Beth Booksellers. This means that if you don’t already have a line ticket, you won’t be allowed in the store during the event.

    Somehow, I don’t think that John has a ticket.

  12. Palin’s book should probably be classified as speculative fiction. Heaven knows that her contacts with reality are quite limited.

  13. I have access to a pirated copy. She speaks to me. I hear her truth. She will lead us out of the dark age and into the white light of the midnight sun.

    Bwah-ha-ha-ha

  14. william @18

    I concur – the GOP won’t take her – she’ll run on a separate ticket – like Nader did in 2000

  15. You know, here it is, over a year later … and I still haven’t written that thank-you letter to John McCain.

  16. *yawns* I’m more interested in Levi Johnston’s nude spread in Playgirl. But then I would be, wouldn’t I?

  17. I’m just disapointed that she’ll be starting her “book” tour here in Grand Rapids. I don’t like to feel dirty like that. If someone wants to pay me I’ll go hold up a sign outside the store asking if she’s going be quitting the book tour early.

    I look forward to her trying to run in 2012. It’ll be a disaster for the GOP and will be hysterical to watch.

    Maybe we could start a petition to force the “left wing media conspiracy” to read the chapter, in Mike Resnick’s book Birthright, about the media maybe they’d get some good ideas (I don’t have my copy infront of me or I’d refer to the exact chapter name).

  18. I wonder if Sarah Palin follows the same philosophy Elle MacPherson espoused, “I only like to read things I have written myself.”

  19. I know a whole lot of movement conservative types (Senate staffers, local candidates, what-have-you) and while they (and I) like the fact that Palin drives lots of folks to distraction, no one that I know thinks she’s going to either run or be a factor if she does. She has a great political future as one of the ancillary power centers to the party (think of the Pat Robertson / Club for Growth types on the right, or the Jesse Jackson / public unions on the left — odd interest groups, limited (but important) say so in politics).

    She’s not running for President because Mike Huckabee is running for President and between them, they can’t get around an obvious choice like Romney. Palin’s business for the next ten years will simply to be Sarah Palin. It may not be what a lot of you folks want to see — but it’s great work if you can get it.

  20. Earthling @ 31 – this assumes that she is not also a solipsist. Meaning, she appears to live in a very ‘self’ oriented universe that may or may not frequently conflict with the order of things as the rest of us see them.

    Look at the ruckus she stirred up with McCain staffers as she allegedly rewrote entire portions of their interactions to suit her world views.

    In a logical universe, you and they are of course correct. I regret to note that Palin appears to reside Ina different universe; a bizarro universe, if you will.

  21. You have a funny ol’ country when you appear to have a choice, at this point, limited to Palin, Huckabee or Romney in 2012. Does the conservative side of politics have any viable more palatable candidates?
    Note, this from a foreign perspective.

    Also, is it a prerequisite for a potential candidate to release a book. Huckabee has just released a book, A Simple Christmas, and Romney’s book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness is apparently due in March.
    Maybe they should have hardcovers at 10 paces. Last man or woman standing wins.

  22. Sarah Palin is dynamite in the political world. If the left attacks her, they’ll energize the GOP base. Newsweek has already shot itself in the foot with the photo of her it swiped from Runners World. If the GOP establishment goes after her, they’ll alienate it’s base and NY-23 has driven home the folly of doing so.

    All in all, I think Pathetic Earthling at 31 has the right general idea. The moderate GOPers, like Romney and Pawlenty, will be desperate for her support without linking themselves to her during the campaign. I suspect that they’ll try to buy her off with a cabinet seat (perhaps in the Energy area, which she actually knows something about). She may go along with it as she is still young and is a presidential prospect for the next 2+ decades.

  23. stevem:

    “Newsweek has already shot itself in the foot with the photo of her it swiped from Runners World.”

    I’m entirely sure of the logic behind that; she’s criticizing Newsweek for using a photo that she intentionally posed for. If she thinks it’s sexist, I’m not entirely sure why she cooperated in its existence. In short, I think her outrage is at least slightly hypocritical.

    Also, “swiped,” is almost certainly incorrect; they bought the picture and had the right to use it.

  24. I figure Palin doomed her GOP chances after quitting as governor. Political suicide right there.

    According to William Kristol, saying this is actually evidence that you’re terrified of her awesomeness.

    As to whether this augurs a 2012 presidential run, honestly, who knows.

    God is not good enough to give the Democrats Sarah Palin to run against in 2012.

  25. John Scalzi at 35: It was a photo she posed for a magazine known as Runners World. Runners World is, as I understand it, denying it gave Newsweek permission to use the photo. It was apparently provided to Newsweek by the photographer who sold it to Runners World. http://www.runnersworld.com/photo/sarahpalin/

    More to the point, it illustrates a disconnect in certain news organizations. What was the point of showing a photo of a very attractive, leggy Sarah Palin? My cynical side thinks that it is an attempt to cast Palin as a brainless Barbie. If Newsweek want to take Palin down it needs to do it with a substantive debate. It decided not to do so, an error in judgement which maybe explains why its readership has dropped from a little over 3 million at the beginning of the year to about 1.5 million currently.

    I think the Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg of the View hit the nail on the head in their criticism of Newsweek’s cover. Their opinions that latent (though I think it fairly overt) sexism is at work is supported by the AP putting 11 fact checkers to tear into her book, something that they never did with ANY of the male candidates.

    I like Palin, despite her narcisism. Every politician has a “look at me” personality, including our President. Wallflowers do not win elections. I like that she has a fiscally conservative record, is pro-Second Amendment, and is pro-life. I like her energy policies. Whether I vote for her in 2012 depends a lot on the competition, but its not out of the realm of possibility. She could be a very strong Republican candidate. She could also single handedly torpedo the GOP’s prospects by running on behalf of a third party.

  26. That line caused me to have a brief image of John Scalzi tied to a chair facing a table adorned only with a typewriter in a dark basement, the only light being a spotlight shining down on him as a sinister voice with a slight German accident whispers “we have ways of making you write…”.

  27. @stevem
    is pro-Second Amendment, and is pro-life
    There is something about that statement that this non-American finds very funny.

    slight German accident
    Ssshh. We’re not supposed to mention the war.

  28. The scary part for me is that in the Newsweek cover/Runner’s World shot that everyone’s complaining about, she actually looks kind of hot (for a grandma). Of course, that’s exactly the point that she’s complaining about, but it isn’t BAD publicity even if she wants to rebuild her intellectual credibility.

    Maybe that cover shot on “The God Engines” is really autobiographical? Scalzi being forced to ghost for Palin…:)

  29. The disasta’ from Alaska is at it again! Oh golly gee – I hope you didn’t actually believe Sarah Palin was stepping out of the limelight for realsies when she bailed on the Land of the Midnight Sun! No, no. In fact, her newly released memoir is topping the charts! Palin’s publisher, Harper, is printing 1.5 million copies of the autobiography entitled “Going Rogue: An American Life.” And, kudos to you, Sarah Barracuda! Word on the street is that you were “unbelievably conscientious and hands-on at every stage” when you went to write your very own memoir, which is pretty cool – considering it is, in fact, your very own memoir.

    http://threestarsandtwobars.blogspot.com

  30. John Scalzi at 35: It was a photo she posed for a magazine known as Runners World. Runners World is, as I understand it, denying it gave Newsweek permission to use the photo. It was apparently provided to Newsweek by the photographer who sold it to Runners World.

    Heh.

    Sorry, I just think it’s funny seeing this statement on a blog of a writer who knows his business very well, and has control of reprint rights of his work.

    What was the point of showing a photo of a very attractive, leggy Sarah Palin? My cynical side thinks that it is an attempt to cast Palin as a brainless Barbie.

    Um, I thought it was obvious that Newsweek thought this sort of image is part and parcel of what Palin herself uses in promoting herself, both commercially and politically. And I don’t think it can be denied that she uses that image. It’s something all politicians do, and it’s somewhat sexist to allow the use of virility and youthfulness for men and to deny it for women.

  31. stevem @ 37

    Fiscal conservative? You’ve obviously never looked at the fiscal meltdowns she leaves behind like footprints. Check the town that had to hire somebody to do her work as Mayor for her after she had already sunk the town deep into debt. Or the half term as state Gov. she fled once people started looking at her actions.

    Palin is not just a grifter, she’s a self deluded grifter with expectations of grandeur.

  32. Ghost writer? More like a proof reader. Palin’s prose does more wandering than a ovulating feline on catnip. My writing is better organized. I suspect the ghost was mostly there to help take care of Trig.

  33. All political books are ridiculous.

    and all those giving it great acclaim are only second in their patheticism when compared to those who give it derision. . . For MONTHS and MONTHS and MONTHS.

    Don’t hurt yourself making her look a fool, when the left has done more than enough to make themselves look it without assistance.

    The Boss is right.

    If you have an opinion about the book. Read it, but if you don’t don’t waste your breath.

    You are just feeding the dragon.

    This is common kabuki.

    “HOW DARE SHE! Write this!! Don’t buy her book!”
    “How DARE THEY say that about my book, buy it!.”
    “How Dare she say “how dare they!?” don’t buy her book!”
    “They are feeding their audience and haven’t read my book, buy my book!.”
    “She’s trying to sell books!”
    “trivialize me all you please, but I’m serious, buy my book.”

    I hate this part of “debate.” in the political realm.

    Like Boss Scalzi said in the post, it’s just everyone going through the same, lame, game of outrage and prosperous fortune.

  34. I’m a “righty” apparently, by definition because I don’t automatically hate people to the right of me, just cuz they are to the right of me.

    All of these political memoirs are a joke. There are few (I assume there is one) if any (I haven’t read any worth referencing) worth reading.

    The OUTRAGE, OUTRAGE I SAY! only shows the pathetisadishness of her detractors.

    It’s just one more memoir.

    Getting wound up about this as a grand creation for the ages is as disgustingly ignorant as anyone who thinks al gore is a scientist after reading “Earth in the Balance.”

    Just take it for what it is, and don’t go all johnny cochran outraged.

  35. I’m just disapointed that she’ll be starting her “book” tour here in Grand Rapids. I don’t like to feel dirty like that.

    Well, if there weren’t so many people who don’t have to make it to work in Michigan, it wouldn’t be such a ripe target.

  36. @ #37 Stevem

    Obviously, Runner’s World did not buy the overall rights to the photo, so they have no say on the matter. It is completely within the photographers rights, if he kept them, to resell the photo to someone else. Or, does a “free market” Palin disagree with that?

    “What was the point of showing a photo of a very attractive, leggy Sarah Palin?”

    What was the point of showing Obama shooting hoops or Bush and Clinton jogging? It’s not like all of those photos, or even half, were leads into fitness articles. No one ever complains about those photos. The double standard appears to be the opposite of what is being stated by the Palin camp.

    “My cynical side thinks that it is an attempt to cast Palin as a brainless Barbie.”

    Whether she is Barbie or not, she is brainless.

    “I like that she has a fiscally conservative record…”

    As a fiscal conservative (I would be the first person to vote for a balanced budget amendment) I find it laughable anyone can paint Palin, or the GOP for that matter, as fiscally conservative.

    @ #6 Stan
    I really hope the GOP doesn’t do any more damage to itself, as the Democrats need some checks on their power. Not all the ideas on the Democrat side are great. Just like not all the ideas on the GOP side are terrible (though their good ideas have been buried since Bush was elected).

    I hope the destruction of the GOP causes it to re-examine itself and get back to what it says it represents.

    Multiple parties would be ideal, but at the least we need two strong parties.

  37. The thing is, a lot of people do indentify/relate to S.P.’s mindset. We like to joke about her ideas, some of which seem to be uniformed or without regard to facts. But still, she might not be all wrong. I for one agree with her on at least one point: Big Government is bad. It’s a generalization, but for the most part I think it’s true.

  38. Prediction: The Republicans make modest gains in 2010 (why Obama’s first year agenda is so ambitious) and nominate Palin in 2012 to energize the base.

    Of course, the base doesn’t win you the general election, but the path is then cleared for Romney, Portman, or any other Republican who doesn’t sound like a weepier version of Glenn Beck to run in 2016.

  39. Have you seen the satirized version?

    Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare?
    It’s a collection of essays edited by Sr. Editors from The Nation magazine.

    The only Sarah Palin book I’ll be buying.

    http://orbooks.com/

  40. I thought about peaking at the book to figure out why any of my fellow conservatives would read it. Then I remembered that Left 4 Dead 2 had unlocked. This led me to a complete drubbing by a tank because my group couldn’t maintain unit cohesion in the face of all those zombies. In other words… I’m trying to survive the necropocalypse and I don’t need the Palinpocalypse to interfere.

  41. @53 Douglas

    Well why do you suppose I was offering to be a paid protester?? I’ve got the free time these days.

    8(

  42. @42 “Yeah, but you couldn’t pay me enough to write it.”

    I imagine it would read a little like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” but with a folksy twang.

  43. @ #54 Chad: ‘I hope the destruction of the GOP causes it to re-examine itself and get back to what it says it represents.’

    My view isn’t that different from yours. I’m not a Democrat so much as an anti-Republican, specifically against the invasiveness of the social right.

    A breakdown of the GOP has long term potential. The GOP probably loses as many votes from fear of the social conservatives as it gains from pandering to them. A GOP without such elements might force the Democracts to strengthen their game to keep their votes.

    Of course, it’s politics so even though I hope for great outcomes I don’t believe in them. But I can at least look forward to entertaining political career crashes along the way.

  44. @ eviljwinter (56): How can anyone be weepier than Glenn “Lonesome Rhodes” Beck?

    @ Chad (54): What we really need are grown-ups on both sides of the aisle, a rarity these past 15+ years. Both parties have managed to act incredibly petulant when in the minority (although the GOP was just as petty when they were in charge). For a multi-party congress to work they actually need to work, as in work together to strike a balance between their respective agendas.

    A new CBS poll asked if Sarah Palin should run for president — roughly 20% said yes. But what they didn’t report was how many responding yes were Democrats. I can imagine a sizable chunk of that 20% wanting Palin in the race because they expect her to lose. At the very least it would seem her “base” is less than 20% of the population.

  45. John:

    Are you sure they couldn’t pay you enough to write the book. Palin got a reported $5 million for the book. The ghostwriter had to get six figures. Let’s guess she got $500k. Would that tempt you, as a professional writer?

  46. @ #64 John

    I agree with your thought. Unfortunately, I don’t think that could ever happen, as the majority of “grown-ups” in the U.S. are not any such thing. I’m just hoping the GOP can at least get to the 14-16 year old age group many of the Democrats are in. At least then they would realize there is no Santa Claus and we would have a chance our politicians had at least a small grasp on reality.

  47. @34

    The moderate GOPers, like Romney and Pawlenty…

    Tim Pawlenty is many things… Moderate is not one of them.

  48. bob smietana:

    “The ghostwriter had to get six figures. Let’s guess she got $500k. Would that tempt you, as a professional writer?”

    No. I don’t need the money, for one; in general ghostwriting does not appeal to me, for two; and even if it did want to ghostwrite something, Sarah Palin would not likely be a compatible match for me.

    So in the wildly unlikely event it had been offered to me, I would have turned it down, not only because of my own lack of interest but because in all fairness Palin should have a ghostwriter who would deliver the book she would want. That’s the ghostwriter gig.

  49. That bright red fleece jacket better have some ridiculous dexterity and sneak bonuses, or she’s going to be a really crap rogue.

  50. Erik @ 70:

    Tim Pawlenty is many things… Moderate is not one of them.

    Well, he’s from the same state as Michele Bachmann, so in comparison …

    Granted, it’s also the state that Al Franken is from, but he’s not exactly Bernie Sanders, is he? (Oh sure, sure, Franken’s a Marxist … a Groucho Marxist, just like I am.)

  51. rachel @ 15

    “That means the public library has to waste its budget on it”

    That’s assuming that the public library wasn’t planning to buy it. Given the circumstances, it would seem strange if libraries didn’t buy it, even in here in liberal, left-coast, latte-drinking Seattle.

  52. I doubt Sarah Palin would bow to the Emperor of Japan or the King of Saudi Arabia.

    I also doubt that if she was ever elected POTUS, she would appoint a tax cheat to head the Treasury.

    But keep focusing on Sarah Palin…. the deficit, thanks to the narcissistic moron in the white house is now 12 TRILLION $$

  53. I doubt Sarah Palin would bow to the Emperor of Japan or the King of Saudi Arabia.

    Then that would be a grave breach of protocol and quite insulting.

    But keep focusing on Sarah Palin…. the deficit, thanks to the narcissistic moron in the white house is now 12 TRILLION $$

    11 trillion of which was generated previous to this administration. Ignoring that seems…non-intelligent.

  54. 11 trillion of which was generated previous to this administration. Ignoring that seems…non-intelligent.

    Oh, I don’t know. It could also be deliberately deceitful. But someone who thinks the POTUS shouldn’t bow to the Emperor of Japan is of doubtful intelligence (or has had hir intelligence compromised by jingoistic “patriotism”), so you’re probably right.

  55. Can she see Darwin from her back yard? Isn’t it a shame that Oprah didn’t ask her to comment on what thinking people believe about the International System?

    See also:
    Self-Organized Characteristics of the International System

    I Piepers, X Wang, YC Lai, C Zhou, CH Lai, P … – Arxiv preprint arXiv:0707.0348, 2007

    Holsti defines an international system as “any collection of independent political entities – tribes, city-states, nations, or empires – that interact with considerable frequency and according to regularized processes. The analyst is concerned with describing the typical characteristic behaviour of these political units toward one another and explaining major changes in these patterns of interaction” (Holsti, 1995, pp. 23).

    The international system is an anarchic system and lacks top-down control. The limited control that is ‘available’ is often counterbalanced by bottom-up forces, for example the inter(actions) of states and random events. This proposition is valid for ecosystems as well (Solé, 2006, pp. 13).

    Holsti argues that “for international relationships, anarchy means that ultimately states can rely only upon themselves for their security and other purposes”. An outcome of the anarchic characteristics of the international system is a “process of action and reaction”, states “accumulating arms for its insurance”, that other states will interpret “as potential threats to their own security. This process of action and reaction is called the security dilemma: the means by which one state provides for its security creates insecurity for others” (Holsti, 1995, pp. 5).

    International systems can be understood and analyzed at different ‘nested’ scales, as is the case with ecosystems (Solé, 2006, pp. 4). The following scales – levels of analysis – can be identified: (1) single states, (2) interactions between states, (3) the level of the international system, and (4) the spatial context. The balance of power and international law are “elements of order” at the level of the international system (Holsti, 1995, pp. 7).

  56. But someone who thinks the POTUS shouldn’t bow to the Emperor of Japan is of doubtful intelligence (or has had hir intelligence compromised by jingoistic “patriotism”)

    More likely, some American businessman trying (unsuccessfully) to drum up business in Asia.

  57. Jonathan, what’s the point of posting the abstract of that paper here? Saying it’s too bad Oprah didn’t ask her about it is a pretty lame excuse. Politicians aren’t expected to be up on that level of academic research, and if they are they don’t want to talk about it on Oprah, whether they’re as bright as Jimmy Carter or as dim as Sarah Palin.

    Seems pointless and off-topic to me.

  58. @ #79 val

    Seriously? In 10 months Obama racked up a $12 Trillion deficit?

    First, let’s use the correct words. Deficit is actually how much will be added to the overall debt. A common time period being used is a year.

    Debt is the proper term when talking about the total amount the U.S. owes at any given time.

    Yes, we currently have a $12 Trillion debt…not a deficit. We could still owe $12 Trillion and not even have a deficit.

    No, Obama has not created all or even the majority of the $12 Trillion. The U.S. goverment will have a deficit of roughly $1.4 Trillion for 2009….which is Obama’s part.

    Bush started with roughly $5.6 Trillion in debt and ended with roughly $10.5 Trillion.

    Whether it was Obama or Bush, I’m not happy with the $12 Trillion either, but if you are going to make the argument at least make a correct one. Both are to blame, with Bush getting more of it just because $5 Trillion is more than $1.4 Trillion.

    Sorry, this was a little off topic, but I tire of the standard Republican/Conservative/”Rogue” answer that assumes the Republicans never add to the debt. As a fiscal conservative it’s embarrasing.

  59. SteveM@37:
    I think the Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg of the View hit the nail on the head in their criticism of Newsweek’s cover. Their opinions that latent (though I think it fairly overt) sexism is at work is supported by the AP putting 11 fact checkers to tear into her book, something that they never did with ANY of the male candidates.

    I think you’ve hit on the head why nobody should expect to turn on The View without suffering brain damage.

    Let me give their fatuous allegations of sexism the response they deserve: BULLSHIT. Obama’s two books were gone over with the proverbial fine-tooth comb, and anyone who says that’s proof of racism needs to leave the room and leave the reality-based adults to talk.

    Meanwhile, am I the only person who finds it a little bit disturbing that someone McCain thought was competent to be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office is so fucking thin-skinned about having her own public statements critically examined?

  60. Meanwhile, The View ladies should stick to such high powered political analysis as Elizabeth Hasselbeck trying (and failing) to school Ian McKellen on what a failure the UK’s National Health Service is. After all, what the frak does a British citizen know about his own country…

  61. Oh, come on, nisleib. That’s a little unfair.

    It gets drafty in some of those old Alaskan homes. Doorstops are important. Also you can use the pages to stuff in the cracks.

  62. Wow, a whole post after a series of other posts, with the promise of more posts about a subject you really don’t care about.

    I mean you really, Really, REALLY don’t care about Palin. And you can’t say it enough.

    PDS anyone?

  63. I mean you really, Really, REALLY don’t care about Palin. And you can’t say it enough.

    PDS anyone?

    Oh, heavens. You haven’t read Andrew Sullivan, have you?

  64. Scorpius@92:

    The only PDS I can see is among Republicans/conservatives who really really think an incompetent, paranoid, pathological liar who really doesn’t seem to be living on the same planet as the rest of us is a fit person to occupy the White House. (And, yes, she has a vagina — so what? I take women seriously enough that I’ll hold her to the same basic standards of competence and integrity as conservative women politicians like Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel etc.)

    And good on Andrew Sullivan for calling her out on it all — someone has to do a little better than a once-over on Oprah.

  65. an incompetent, paranoid, pathological liar who really doesn’t seem to be living on the same planet as the rest of us is a fit person to occupy the White House.

    Too late.

  66. Frank is right. We already know that incompetent paranoid patholiars don’t belong in the White House.

    We just got rid of the last one in January of this year. Have you forgotten already?

  67. I for one will be interested to learn[1] whether her tome is any more comprehensible than her resignation speech, from whence this Wordle was created.

    IMAO, mythusmage nails it in @51:

    Ghost writer? More like a proof reader. Palin’s prose does more wandering than a ovulating feline on catnip. My writing is better organized. I suspect the ghost was mostly there to help take care of Trig.

    How about zombie writer as a possibly more accurate description of her writing assistant? [2]

    ________
    [1] At a considerable remove, I hasten to add. Although, thinking on the matter, I don’t know anyone who meets the dual requirements of: (a) having judgement which I trust; (b) being someone I sufficiently dislike that I would ask them to read SP’s deathless prose.

    [2] Except that a zombie writer would die of starvation working in that particular capacity. Drat.

  68. @gwangung

    You mean the Birther Anderw Sullivan who spent months before and after the election last year publishing almost nothing but his paranoid speculation that Sarah Palin wasn’t the Mother of Trig Palin. That Andrew Sullivan?

    Yeah, I’ll take his demented rantings with a block of salt.

    Sad really, Andrew is actually a talented writer. Just goes to show you that even someone who can pen a good piece can be an imbecile.

    @Craig Ranapia,

    The only PDS I can see is among Republicans/conservatives who really really think an incompetent, paranoid, pathological liar who really doesn’t seem to be living on the same planet as the rest of us is a fit person to occupy the White House.

    Huh? can you prove any of that or are you just off your anti-PDS meds? I’m no Palin fan (don’t know if I want her as President) but come on, she lacks a Y chromosome and is a thorough small-government conservative (both social and fiscal) and you guys act like she’s the anti-Christ.

    BTW, how’s that “Hope and Change” working out for you? Pretty much “Despair and More of the same old” at this point.

  69. @ Xopher,

    What the Frack is a “patholiar”?? Or does typing distract you too much from the bliss-link emanating from the Mothership that you have to economize on letters and make up crappy portmanteaus?

  70. Scorpius:

    Your mode of argument is apparently to be a dick to other people whose arguments you don’t like. If you want to continue using that particular tactic, you can use it somewhere other than here. The next time you insult someone else rather than address the content of the argument, your comment is going to get whacked. This constitutes your warning. Behave or leave.

  71. The problem with social neo-conservatives is that they aren’t small government. They’re anti-Constitutional and McCarthy-esque. And in Palin’s case, belongs to a church that believes in witches and hunting them down, an idea that Palin either paid lip service to or actually believes, given that she let them bless her against witchcraft. She’s a creationist who has acted against Alaskan education, a homophobe who has tried to strip gays of government benefits, a working mom who has championed legislation harmful to women, and was while governor a tool of the oil and gas industry. She fought for huge amounts of federal money, managed it badly and then denied she ever did it at all, with the classic awareness of neo-con politicians that their base will either not hear about it or believe it. She destroyed half the Alaskan Republican party, stabbed her mentor in the back and then jumped ship under a cloud of rather incredibly well-documented ethics investigations so that she could write a book.

    I don’t think she’s the Anti-Christ. I think she’s a liar, incompetent, destructive and the postergirl for people who intolerantly believe that their particular version of the Christian Bible (the one with just white people) should be running the country. They’re a minority, but thanks to the Republican party letting them take over even as their numbers shrank, they have a disturbing influence on U.S. policy out of proportion to their fringe status. Palin is a reality star elevated to the public stage.

  72. Scorpius:

    “Well John, just taking my ques from the blog owner’s style.”

    Not really. You were being a common-variety dick who is now trying to snark your way out of being called on it. Your snark-fu, however, is not nearly strong enough for that.

    In any event, this handy flowchart should help you grasp what sort of latitude you have in this regard.

    “Sorry if you took offense.”

    This is a transparently weasel-worded apology. Be sorry for giving offense, or don’t apologize.

    And more to the point, don’t be a dick to other people here. You don’t have dick-level privileges.

  73. John,

    Point taken. I’ll keep my dickness to Level 1 dickness. My problem was I thought that flowchart was nondeterministic.

  74. Scorpius@99:

    I’m all the way on the medication I take for high blood pressure and to manage my manic-depression. Thanks for asking, mate, and in future you might want to keep cracks about “being off your medication” to yourself…

  75. Your mode of argument is apparently to be a dick to other people whose arguments you don’t like.

    Oh please. The only “arguments” in this thread are the few posts that are off topic.

    Otherwise the whole thread is one giant ad hominem scree.

    But I suppose that’s OK since the subject isn’t also a participant.

  76. Frank:

    When Sarah Palin shows up to comment and to make an argument, I’ll remind people to be polite to her when they respond directly to something she’s said. Until then, people commenting negatively regarding a major public figure is just fine. That’s part of the deal when one is a major public figure.

    But I think it’s sweet you’re worried about people being mean to her here. I’ll note this concern doesn’t stop you from making your own implied ad hominem against the current occupant of the White House earlier in the thread, so your huffiness on this score could be seen as possibly hypocritical. But, still: sweet.

  77. When Sarah Palin shows up to comment and to make an argument, I’ll remind people to be polite to her when they respond directly to something she’s said.

    Hey. It’s your forum.

    I’ll note this concern doesn’t stop you from making your own implied ad hominem against the current occupant of the White House earlier in the thread

    I did not such thing.

    so your huffiness on this score could be seen as possibly hypocritical.

    Why is that? I was just pointing out the obvious.

    I didn’t say, for instance, that a mostly contentless thread that provides a forum for participants to vent their spleen at a person that is so obviously loathed by the majority group is bad. Or good.

    I was just pointing out that the word “argument” doesn’t really fit. It’s not like the original post or subsequent thread examines a policy or a position or a theory that the subject has put forward.

    So it is what it is.

  78. Frank:

    “I do no such thing.”

    Really.

    “I was just pointing out that the word ‘argument’ doesn’t really fit.”

    Sure it does. When one makes a statement, one is presenting a potential argument. When one responds, one is debating the argument. You can argue whether people are having good arguments, or on-topic arguments, certainly. But it’s not particularly arguable that arguments are going on in the thread. The arguments I’m trying to avoid are the “we’re yelling mean things to each other” sort.

    In any event, your argument that the arguments in this thread are not really arguments is not a very good argument.

  79. In any event, your argument that the arguments in this thread are not really arguments is not a very good argument.

    Ah yes. A philosophy major…

  80. Frank: Yes, JS is correct in that negative comments on public figures is certainly allowed. If I want to say Palin is stupid and is blond that has dyed her hair I can. If I want to say Obama is a bumbling fool who is not qualified to lead and is unable to speak free form then I can say that too.

  81. “If I want to say Obama is a bumbling fool who is not qualified to lead and is unable to speak free form then I can say that too.”

    I think you meant Bush there. :)

  82. At the risk of more topic drift. Can somebody explain why this “free form” meme about Obama keeps spreading. I watched the debates where, unless I was mistaken, I didn’t see a teleprompter in sight and he seemed to me to demolish McCain. He also seems pretty good when he’s speaking freeform – at least to me anyway…

  83. Sorry.

    It’s been bugging me.

    Frankly, I’d like to have seen some of the BBC interviewers let lose on Ms Palin. Then she’d have had something to complain about.

  84. When you ingage in the art of argument, your are telling a story. You are trying to present your ideas in a way that others will like, and/or agree with.

    I think there are a lot of people who don’t like S.P. because she’s a sexy woman. So what if she’s uniformed? Leaders are often uniformed, or act as if they are, and we don’t seem to demand a whole lot better. We’re in huge financial trouble because we let a lot of PhDs lead us to the edge of ruin. So tell me, what is the real value in being really well-informed? We have really well-informed scientists who still believe in God. There are super-brains working in every field, and they all make mistakes, sometimes the kind that kill lots and lots of people. So, let’s not confuse lack of facts with lack of intelligence. Any one can memorize a bunch of facts.

  85. @119

    Are you saying that we should elect stupid people because smart people make mistakes? That seems like saying that we should all smoke 2 packs a day because even non-smokers can get lung cancer.

    I don’t really think Sarah Palin is stupid though. I think her “ignorance” is an act to set people off and make money for her.

  86. Gray Area at 119: I have a slightly different take on it. I don’t really think its a matter of unintelligent vs. uninformed (or vice-versa).

    On the intelligence front, Sarah Palin is probably bright. I would bet she is likely around the 120 (plus or minus 5) I.Q. She isn’t a genius, but she isn’t dumb. In fact, I suspect her overall intelligence is right around the typical average on this board, as I think most of the posters here are very intelligent. Even those who relapse into vulgarity and personal attacks (which I assume is based upon emotions overriding good manners). On the intelligence front, I think most of the board posters (and Sarah Palin) have more than enough brains to be a perfectly competent president.

    As to the informed aspect, this is largely a perception issue. It isn’t something which is objectively verifiable as I believe whether a person views Sarah Palin as “informed” has about a 90% correlation with whether or not they agree with her world view.

    Two hot topics by way of examples. First, economics which makes or breaks most presidencies. Economics is not a “hard” science. There is no objectively verifiable “right” answer to many of the economic issues which face this country or the world. Economics is largely theory. A person can find a theory which matches whatever pre-conceived notions they may have and, even if wrong (a matter of belief almost on par with religion) they are ‘informed’.

    For example, I believe that the Austrian school of economics is largely correct. It does not mean that it is correct, only that I would personally place my bets on the outcomes as predicted by the Austrian school. Is the Austrian school objectively verifiable as right? I suspect, just like the Keynesians, its a mixed bag of results. Otherwise they would not be advancing theories, but laws.

    Another hot topic is gay marriage. I am personally in favor of gay marriage. I would vote that way if posed to me as a member of the voting public. On the other hand, it does not mean that those who oppose it on religious grounds are bigots (they are entitled to vote on matters of conscience just as much as the pro-gay marriage crowd is entitled to vote how their conscience dictates) and it does not mean that those who oppose it on legal grounds are “wrong”, as I personally can craft legal arguments either way on the issue. And “issue” is the key word there as anyone who has attended a constitutional law class will tell you that a court can come down on any side of a constitutional matter depending on how the Court elects to frame the issue before it.

    So Sarah Palin can be cast as informed (relying on thousands of years a succesful western culture which has largely frowned on the gay marriage issue, a culture which statisticly has gotten more issues right than most if judged by the quality of life improvements) or bigotted (she is suppressing a minority just like other minorities have (wrongly) been suppressed by majorities). I personally believe that to win hearts and minds, one does not call them bigots but engage them in discussion on the issue. Eventually the “right” course will prevail amongst collective thought, whatever that ultimately is.

  87. @ #120 Erik

    “I don’t really think Sarah Palin is stupid though. I think her “ignorance” is an act to set people off and make money for her.”

    Wow! By the way, I happen to have a bridge for sale.

    @ #121 stevem

    “I would bet she is likely around the 120 (plus or minus 5) I.Q. She isn’t a genius, but she isn’t dumb. In fact, I suspect her overall intelligence is right around the typical average on this board, as I think most of the posters here are very intelligent.”

    Average American is around 100 IQ not 120.

    Plus, if she was really playing this dumb she would either have to be 150 IQ (genius) or higher, or actually dumb. An average person couldn’t pull this level of stupidity off and make it look natural.

    “As to the informed aspect, this is largely a perception issue. It isn’t something which is objectively verifiable…”

    No, it is not. All you have to do is watch the Katie Couric interview. The lack of knowledge is easily verifiable.

    “First, economics…”

    Economics is gray. Sadly, she doesn’t even show an understanding of any of the “gray” sides of economics. She just spouts rhetoric.

    Of all the states Alaska is the least affected by broad economic forces. Basically, if oil isn’t rock bottom, they win. As a citizen of Alaska you actually get paid to live there. It isn’t hard to govern a state when money “magically” appears in state coffers, and you don’t tax anyone.

    “Another hot topic is gay marriage. I am personally in favor of gay marriage. I would vote that way if posed to me as a member of the voting public. On the other hand, it does not mean that those who oppose it on religious grounds are bigots (they are entitled to vote on matters of conscience just as much as the pro-gay marriage crowd is entitled to vote how their conscience dictates)…”

    Ahhh…yes it does. The definition of bigot:
    One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

    What if gays were intolerant of heterosexual marriage? Would that be ok? Their lifestyle is based on beliefs, just like all the Christians opposed to gay marriage. Would that be bigoted? Yes, it would be. However, all they want are the same rights. They are not looking to force others to do what they do, which is what objecting to gay marriage is doing. If you vote against gay marriage you are essentially putting up a small road block to gay/lesbian relationships, which forces those in that lifestyle to the fringes of society…if they don’t conform.

    “So Sarah Palin can be cast as informed (relying on thousands of years a succesful western culture which has largely frowned on the gay marriage issue,…”

    In some ways true and others false. There is ample evidence to suggest the upper class in Greek and Roman times took same sex lovers, because they could. So, yes same sex marriage was frowned upon, but same sex relations were probably given “elite” status amongst these civilizations.

  88. Chad at 122: I am well aware that the average IQ is 100. What I said was that she was around typical for this board, which I estimate ranges from 115-125 as an average.

    As to Katie Couric, Sarah Palin blew parts of it. As I suspect you, I or Scalzi would. How she did overall should only be determined by the entire interview. It is noteworthy that despite her requests, the unedited interview has never been released.

    We will have to disagree about the bigotry issue. You can clad yourself in the armor of righteousness and I will continue to try to see both sides of the equation (which doesn’t mean I won’t still pick a side).

    You reference to Greeks and Roman “upper” classes accepting homosexual relations as equating to support for the western world acceptance to gay marriage is extremely weak. First, your statement is a huge over-generalization. For example, acceptance of the relationship was largely predicated upon geographic location, such as Corinth being vastly more accepting that other locales. Even if some degree of acceptance was tolerated amongst some ‘elites’, even then for the relationship to become public knowledge was usually considered to be extremely shaming. Further, one’s role in the relationship also determined ‘private’ acceptance. There are a large number of other factors, none of which support western culture as being open to the concept of gay marriage at anytime. Heck, Thebes prohibited the Sacred Band, allegedly its elite fighting force, from entering the city limits because of they were homosexuals. Not a ringing endorsement of any level of acceptance other than “useful cannon fodder”.

  89. Erik said, “Are you saying that we should elect stupid people because smart people make mistakes?”

    I’m saying we DO elect stupid people all the time. Just because they say pretty things that we (define your mindset here) can agree with does not make them right. Often times “Right” is just a calculated risk, like throwing dice.

    Nixon was probably one of our more intelligent, well-educated presidents. Are you going to say he was the right man for the job? I’m saying that people don’t vote for someone because they have high IQs, but because people join personality cults without realizing how lemming-like they are. And Palin already has a cult following.

    I like Palin because she seems refreshing. She may just be good at causing chaos in the party. Good for her! Woot!

  90. @ Stevem

    I will give you that my arguement using Roman or Greek examples isn’t necessarily strong, but my bigot arguement is dead on.

    And, I would absolutely LOVE to see the entire Palin/Couric interview.

  91. Chad at 125:

    And I will grant you that there are bigots within any group, including the various religions. I would also agree that religous groups sometimes have a higher frequency of bigots, as they use religion to cover for, or to otherwise excuse, their hatred, as opposed to sincere religious conviction (which could generate opposition to gay marriage without the hatred or animosity).

    It is important to keep in mind, however, that neither the bigots nor the sincerely religious opponents will likely have their minds changed on the issue. Despite this, supporters of gay marriage (including myself) should be very careful on the terms we throw around as we are attempting to persuade the undecided. Using ‘bigot’ language is not going to help the cause. The sincerely religious oposition are usually very involved members of the community. Insulting them has two readily apparent consequences.

    First, by engaging in personal attacks, you heighten the conflict and energize the opposition. You are increasing the chances they will go to the polls (admittedly, a large number already do). Second, the undecided voters may know good people who are opposed to gay marriage and are sincerely religious. When you attack them, their extended network, including the non-religious, are more likely to align themselves with them.

    The burden is on the pro-gay marriage crowd to prove its case as it is attempting to change the status quo. There are good, logical, rationale and humane reasons to support gay marriage which can be enunciated without recourse to insults.

    In the interests of disclosure, I consider myself a Christian and a member of the United Methodist Church. My church does not support gay marriage as a religious matter. I believe it is slowly moving in the direction of gay marriage as a matter of civil union, however (which is what every marriage is, just without the religious ceremony).

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