We continue on with our review of Sarah Palin’s fiction, sorry memoirs, Going Rogue. There are a few reoccurring themes throughout the chapters, so much so that Palin literally repeats thoughts (sometimes word for word) which made it daunting to read but easier to review.
Chapter 2 Kitchen-Table Politics – Palin is on a Mission from God
The second chapter outlines Sarah Palin’s experience in politics before being elected governor in December of 2006. No coincidence it’s one of the shortest chapters in the book.
Like many leaders and politicians before her, Sarah Palin is attributing her actions not to ambition but to divine intervention, stating that God is obviously wanting her to take the paths she’s taken by putting opportunities before her.
This tactic always annoys me because really its a just way to deflect criticism. If God is responsible for “opening doors” for Palin to go through who is anyone to say that he or she is wrong to do what she’s doing.
There’s also the underlying suggestion that she is chosen by God for an important purpose, to lead Alaskans and Americans toward what’s right. Reading Going Rogue you’d think Palin should have a book in the bible like the other disciples.
On page 83 Palin mentions another book she’s read, a children’s book The Flyaway Kite. After reading the book to her daughter Willow Palin decides that she’ll run for lieutenant governor because that’s what God wants her to do.
However, she didn’t win. But after campaigning for Murkowski (who ran and won the governorship) he appointed her as a chairman to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Like her role as governor, she also quit her chairman position when the job didn’t turn out as easy as she thought it would be.
When directly contemplating her political motivations on page 103 Palin says;
“There was a longing inside me that winter, a sense of purpose hovering just beyond my vision. Was it ambition? I didn’t think I didn’t think so. Ambition drives people; purpose beckons. Purpose calls. I definitely wasn’t driven toward any particular goal, like power or fame or wealth.”
We’ll have to hold her to that.
Palin goes on to write a letter in the voice of God in chapter 3.
Palin also recollects in this chapter how she snubbed her husband’s stepmom, Faye Palin, during the Wasilla mayoral election that would determine who would replace her. Even though Palin’s stepmother-in-law was running for mayor Palin publicly supported another candidate behind her family’s back.
In fact she sought out and recruited other city council members to run for fear that her old mayoral opponent, John Stein, might when and undo all she had done in office. Of the event Palin recounts:
“To beat Stein, I thought we needed a safer bet than Faye, whom I feared wasn’t as well known as the council members.”
Isn’t this the politics-as-usual mentality that she so feverently speaks out against repeatedly in the book? Another little gem for this portion of the book – after describing the fight that ensued when Todd found out what she had done, Palin writes: “It didn’t go exactly like that. . .”
Seems to sum up Palin’s approach for writing much of the book.
Chapter 3 – Palin Leads Alaska Towards Socialism
Chapter 3 outlines Palin’s run for governor and her brief time in that position up until the point when she gets the call from John McCain to compete for the vp nod.
The most interesting portions of the third chapter are actually related to Palin’s political and economic theory of how Alaska’s oil and gas resources should be produced and who should profit off them and how. Not only does this give a rare glimpse into complex political thought on Palin’s part, it also shows how hypocritical she can be for political purposes.
Here’s how Palin describes her view on the distribution of profits from Alaska’s gas and oil resources:
“ACES represented a major philosophical shift in the role of government. As resource owners, Alaskans literally had a “working interest” in energy exploration and development.”
The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend is the tax credit all Alaskans get each year based in large part on how much the state brings in with gas and oil production taxes (ACES). So in other words Palin highly supports this dividend and growing it because state resources belong to all Alaskans therefore all Alaskans should be directly benefiting from the revenue they generate.
The 2009 tax credit was $1305 per person regardless of age or income.
Here’s part of Wikipedia’s definition of Socialism:
Most socialists share the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation, creates an unequal society, does not provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximise their potentialities and does not utilise technology and resources to their maximum potential nor in the interests of the public.
Palin is quick to call Obama a socialist along with all the other Tea Baggers, which goes to show many of them don’t really know what socialism stands for.
It’s also very intriguing how Palin repeatedly likens her own campaign messages in 2005 with those of Obama’s in 2008, with a conservative, insulting slant to them. She does this even when it’s not so clear that her messages were the same.
On page 114 Palin says of her 2006 Alaska governor campaign;
“Every part of our campaign shouted “Change!” . . . We were amused a couple of years later when Barack Obama – one of whose senior advisors (come to think of it) had roots in Alaska – adopted the same theme.”
However, Pain states just 5 pages later that her campaign slogans were “New Energy for Alaska” (her lieutenant governor slogan 4 years prior was “New Energy”) and “Take a Stand”. Her main initiatives included building a natural gas pipeline and getting rid of corruption in the capital with ethics reform.
The pipeline was nothing new and the corruption level had gotten a little out of hand in Alaska, even for politics. So I don’t completely buy the “change” comparison. Instead of it coming off as though Obama is snaking Palin’s ideas it appears Palin wants herself to be likened to Obama.
Looks like she’s working on gaining more mindshare outside her hard right-winger segment.