Monday, November 16, 2009

Despite strong book sales, Sarah Palin's flaws remain

Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's new book, Going Rogue, is already a best-seller. In a tell-all account of her life (as well as her time as VP candidate), Palin makes several claims that have been disputed by several prominent politicos and members of the media.

"Everything is someone else's fault," says one insider, who believes Palin failed to take responsibility for her miscues during the campaign. "There's no accountability. [Her book] is mean-spirited. But if you look at the record, it is what it is."

Perhaps that sort of critique should be expected at this point -- Palin is a very divisive person, and many from the left would love nothing more than for her political career to be over. But the comments from above don't come from the left. Instead, they come from the very people she worked alongside during the 2008 campaign, from a McCain campaign aide who says Palin's new book is full of lies.

That aide is not alone -- a set of emails recently released between Palin and other prominent members of the McCain campaign shows quite clearly that several assertions from her book contradict what happened in the real Palin's own accounts!

Within Going Rogue, Palin says that she was reluctant to wear clothes the RNC had provided for her and her family (costing hundreds of thousands of dollars), that she was forced to pay for her own legal vetting fees, and that members of the media -- most notably Katie Couric of CBS -- had treated her unfairly.

Couric's interview with Palin gained national attention, mostly for how terrible it was. The public, which had previously been enamored with her to some extent, quickly saw her as a bumbling ideologue, and in fact her polling numbers have slipped ever since.

In her book, Palin reportedly blames a lot of people for her misfortunes -- but rarely takes responsibility herself. This sort of temperament is why Palin will never be president. The mainstream has already rejected her extreme right views; but the American public have also traditionally rejected those who can't take responsibility for themselves, who can't lead without being petty.

Sarah Palin may be appealing to the base voters in the Republican Party. She's charismatic, she's unapologetic, and she keeps a strict conservative ideology. But those attributes won't convince the American people that she's presidential material.


Perhaps Palin's rise to stardom in the Republican Party is indicative of something more, of the major fissures within the GOP in recent years. She represents the wing of the party that refuses to back down, that refuses to listen to reason, and refuses to admit when they're wrong, not only on facts but also on something as simple as what they may have said in the past.

What Palin lacks (and others who share her attitudes and temperament lack as well) is humility -- the ability to look at oneself and say, "I'm not perfect." Like the troubled student who blames everyone else but himself for his bad grades, Palin can't acknowledge when she herself has done wrong.

1 comment:

  1. If I were a right-winger, I would be embarrassed that Sarah Palin has become the posterchild for the GOP. It's kind of ironic how Palin's supporters frequently charge "personal responsibility" (a euphemism for "allowing a capitalist boss to exploit you") yet Palin doesn't seem to take much responsibility for her words and actions.

    The other thing that scares me about Palin is how far to the right she is, and how under-educated her positions seem. If I were Iranian living in Iran, and saw Palin elected president, I would hope my country launch a strike on the US for self-defense, since Palin seems as if she'd blindly send US troops to invade Iran. These positions are to the far right of most Americans, who are fed up with the USA's illegal wars and want the country to take a more diplomatic approach. It's a sad world we live in.