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Rogue Thoughts: Chapter by Chapter on Sarah Palin (Summary)
First Things ^ | 11-27-09 | John Mark Reynolds

Posted on 12/01/2009 8:55:38 AM PST by Bob J

Chapter 6

In Summary: Ten Things I Learned From Reading Going Rogue

This was a bad and unhelpful book. It was not bad because it was simple. Goldwater (or his ghost) used fewer pages in Conscience of a Conservative and said more. It was not bad because it was autobiographical. Though I don’t like his politics, President Obama confessed more and said it better in Dreams from My Father. If you don’t believe that this book is bad, then read (really do!) Ronald Reagan’s autobiography Where’s the Rest of Me? Ronald Reagan showed more substance in his delightful book written mostly about his time as an actor than Palin shows in her four hundred pages.

Reagan (or his ghost) did not write a wonk book. It is very, very readable, but it wrestles with ideas even in the context of a film star career! It is not Plato, but it is interesting and makes you want to talk to the man who wrote it. There is a man behind the book, though Reagan had help writing it the Gipper is in every paragraph, but there is only a ghost of a personality in the corporate machine written Going Rogue.

The best you can say about this book is that it is forgettable and will be forgotten. It is a book-of-the-moment non-book meant to be purchased and given as a Christmas gift to conservatives. It is an utter waste of an opportunity for something better, but it is no worse than most political “memoirs” of its type.

It is better than Pelosi, but damning a person with that comparison is almost too cruel after what Palin has endured.

What are the ten things the book taught me?

First, Palin is a unique political talent, but her abilities do not extend to the written word. That is too bad, because our best politicians may use a ghost at times, but they also know words and do not fear them. Reagan is a great example of this. He could write. Of course, that does not mean she should not be President, but it does limit her.

Her publisher did not fact check this book well (if at all). She was badly served by her publisher and editor. People who criticize me for nit-picking her use of quotations miss the point. I am a fan . . . though now a weary one . . . and I found the errors. The publisher had to know that her critics would check every fact.

How can I in a single day with no help find error after error when I am no writer, no editor (as this blog post indicates), and no specialist?

Second, Sarah Palin has not grown in the year since the election. Those of us who hoped that Palin had been “hidden” by the campaign know the truth now. She still is what she was.

She is smart, but not book-smart. She has common sense, but not practical wisdom. These are not fatal flaws, but she shows no signs of changing or recognizing them. You only shame yourself by appending Googled spuriou slogans assigned to philosophers to your previous views.

Third, Palin uses four hundred pages to give her side of things, but I am still at a loss to describe her political or governing philosophy in any detail. President Obama is sickening us all on the academic as commander-in-chief. She is the opposite of President Obama, but the opposite of excess is defect and not virtue. Again, Reagan wrote a breeze easy autobiography from which you could discern a serious man, so it is not the fact that this is no dissertation.

Fourth, Palin has the makings of a splendid executive and is a gifted speaker. She could learn what she needs to know, but my fear after reading this book is that she does not care to learn it.

The book is not intellectually roguish, but intellectually rougish. It covers up something with the appearance of health, but we are left to wonder what is being covered up.

Fifth, Palin was an effective mayor and governor. McCain destroyed that promise with his doomed campaign. This is another reason to curse the 2008 election.

Sixth, Palin is most effective in new media because the way it is typically used plays to her strengths. However, it also encourages her weaknesses as it tends to build a like minded community with too little criticism and allows her to stick to sound bites and generalities.

Seventh, Palin uses books as entertainment, to get information, and to confirm beliefs. I see no evidence she reads as an intellectual adventure or to change her mind. This is dangerous in a political leader as it tends to make leadership personality driven rather than idea driven.

Eighth, Palin is sensitive to the charge she is “dumb,” but has not been given the tools or the teachers who can help her. (Has she sought them out?) She needs teachers who assume her intelligence, who challenge her, and speak her Evangelical language. Such teachers (see Moreland, J.P.) exist and she should seek them out.

Ninth, Palin has been abused by the culture and is justifiably hurt and enraged.

Tenth, if Palin does not run for President, then all of this is much ado about little. She seems a splendid person who has lived a remarkable life, even if this book did nothing much to help us see this truth.

Sadly, I now believe the burden of proof has shifted. While an excellent chief executive in Alaska, there is reason to believe that Palin lacks the intellectual skills needed to be an effective President. Most important, she does not seem to recognize this and shows no sign of getting them.

I have not given up on Palin and find much in her to admire, but she would not get my primary vote based on this book and what I know about her to date. I hope I am wrong and am open to changing my mind.

She has more promise than any Republican candidate I can name and I still have hopes for Sarah Palin, but hope needs substance or it becomes a disillusioned faith.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bobj; book; morebobjbs; palin; pds; reynolds

1 posted on 12/01/2009 8:55:38 AM PST by Bob J
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To: Bob J

John Mark Reynolds is an elitist A-Hole with a severe case of PDS. Why should we care what he thinks?


2 posted on 12/01/2009 8:59:09 AM PST by DB9
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To: Bob J

John Mark Reynolds is an elitist A-Hole with a severe case of PDS. Why should we care what he thinks?


3 posted on 12/01/2009 8:59:14 AM PST by DB9
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To: Bob J

Do I care what John Reynolds opinion is? I would be willing to bet Sarah Palin has more character and conviction in her pinkie finger than Reynolds delusions himself into thinking he has.


4 posted on 12/01/2009 9:11:10 AM PST by RowdyFFC (The opinion of a wise Welshtino woman...)
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To: Bob J

These people only write these things so they will be noticed.


5 posted on 12/01/2009 9:12:04 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: freekitty

“These people only write these things so they will be noticed.”

Oh, the irony...


6 posted on 12/01/2009 9:14:53 AM PST by Bob J
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To: Bob J

7 posted on 12/01/2009 9:15:06 AM PST by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle (http://www.conservatives4palin.com/)
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To: Bob J

Blah, blah, blah, I’m a life long republican but....

Gee, who would I rather have as leader of my country?
An American girl whose parents raised her with a sense
of responsiblity and a work ethic, or a half kenyan tutored
by marxists......tough choice.


8 posted on 12/01/2009 9:15:06 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: freekitty

These people only write these things so they will be noticed.


Isn’t that objective of all otherwise why write a thing?


9 posted on 12/01/2009 9:17:16 AM PST by deport (92 DAYS UNTIL THE TEXAS PRIMARY....... MARCH 2, 2010)
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To: Bob J
First Things is published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.

ordering of society ?!?

I don't want to be ordered. I also suspect that most folks here on FR are not interested in be ordered by the LEFT.


10 posted on 12/01/2009 9:22:17 AM PST by pyx (Rule#1.The LEFT lies.Rule#2.See Rule#1. IF THE LEFT CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE, IT CONTROLS THE ARGUMENT.)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle

LOL LOL LOL.

Awesome.


11 posted on 12/01/2009 9:30:32 AM PST by agere_contra
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To: Bob J

ping for later


12 posted on 12/01/2009 9:31:32 AM PST by Ro_Thunder ("Other than ending SLAVERY, FASCISM, NAZISM and COMMUNISM, war has never solved anything")
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To: DB9

Yes, Palin seems to force the fat head elitist to the top of the scum pond to show their disdain for a real American patriot..His nit picky words just show that the elite minded cannot relate to the American people. On the other hand that’s where Sarah is taking her cause...to the people...Gotta love it!


13 posted on 12/01/2009 9:32:22 AM PST by hope
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To: DB9

Why should we care what he thinks?

Keep in mind, he’s not writing for us but for the
liberal core, it makes them feel secure.


14 posted on 12/01/2009 9:36:44 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: DB9; Bob J
Don't direct your scorn at the author; direct it at the disingenuous poster instead.

Bob J has PDS up the ying-yang.

15 posted on 12/01/2009 9:44:22 AM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (10 YEARS OF FREEPING! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY EEE!!!)
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To: Bob J

As someone who has worked in academia and in public policy - and who has been a longtime reader of First Things magazine - I would like to comment upon this review. IMHO First Things is an excellent publication with much to commend it. However, while not an academic journal as such, the magazine is definitely intended for the “thinking person” - what some might call a “highbrow” audience. The articles have a scholarly tenor that might not appeal to the average reader.

Reynolds appears to misunderstands what Sarah Palin is all about. He seems to be disappointed that she is not a policy wonk. What Reynolds perhaps does not realize is that most people do not move in academic/scholarly circles, and do not reverence intellectual elitism.

Sarah Palin’s appeal is her common sense, her backbone, her resolve to stand for what she believes, and most of all her celebration of all that is good with America: freedom, liberty, and the unfettered pursuit of happiness.

Growing numbers of Americans are responding to her “counterattack from the heartland” appeal. They intuitively realize that what our present troubled times demand character - not mere Ivy League intellectualism and inside-the-beltway politics that are out-of-touch with ordinary Americans. This is something that the scholarly elites not fail to understand, and can only view as a dire threat to their privileged status.


16 posted on 12/01/2009 10:01:52 AM PST by tjd1454
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

“Bob J has PDS up the ying-yang.”

If by PDS you mean “Palinista Derangement Syndrome” you would at least be on the right track. One of the most damaging charcteristics of a Palin campaign that I can foresee is the actions of her most ardent supporters. Their relentless, nasty and profane attacks on any legitimate criticisms and on those who have the gall to make them only drive potential supporters and votes away from her.

By the time they’re done the Palin camp will comprise less than 35% of the conservative/GOP voting base and if and when she loses they’ll sit on the rubble and complain about how everyone and everything was so unfair to them.


17 posted on 12/01/2009 10:14:00 AM PST by Bob J
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To: Bob J
One of the most damaging charcteristics of a Palin campaign that I can foresee is the actions of her most ardent supporters. Their relentless, nasty and profane attacks on any legitimate criticisms and on those who have the gall to make them only drive potential supporters and votes away from her.

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Well, who the hell is going to beat her? Romney the socialist? Huckabee? You’ve got to be kidding me.

If there’s a better God, Country, Family, All American candidate out there, then lets get it on!!

Just drill, baby, drill!!

11 posted on Monday, November 30, 2009 9:48:37 PM by Jim Robinson (Join the TEA Party Rebellion!! God save this great Republic!!)

18 posted on 12/01/2009 10:36:07 AM PST by ansel12 (Scozzafava/Romney 2012)
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To: ansel12

Why do you post Jim excerpts when responding to me?

Think for yourself, man!

BTW - It’s along way to 2012, let’s see what develops.


19 posted on 12/01/2009 11:41:36 AM PST by Bob J
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To: Bob J

You post left wing troll stuff and I occasionally quote a well know conservative.

Quotes can be useful, liberal trolling never is.


20 posted on 12/01/2009 11:52:27 AM PST by ansel12 (Scozzafava/Romney 2012)
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To: ansel12

“You post left wing troll stuff and I occasionally quote a well know conservative.”

Who’s that? You mean Jim Thompson?


21 posted on 12/01/2009 12:00:49 PM PST by Bob J
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To: RowdyFFC
John Reynolds writes, "She seems a splendid person who has lived a remarkable life, even if this book did nothing much to help us see this truth."

I wonder if he read the same book I did. Oh, I know....it's sour grapes...he didn't write a platinum plus book. However, if he did I stand corrected.

22 posted on 12/01/2009 12:09:07 PM PST by Auntie Toots (The GOP has taken on new life..with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman)
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To: Bob J

No Sale Bob J. I read the book and it rocked.


23 posted on 12/01/2009 1:22:43 PM PST by Sarah-bot (Palin or Communism -- You decide.)
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To: Bob J

Don’t know exactly which side you are on; but you get it.


24 posted on 12/01/2009 2:22:25 PM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: deport

Quit splittig hairs.


25 posted on 12/01/2009 2:23:20 PM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Bob J
"Third, Palin uses four hundred pages to give her side of things, but I am still at a loss to describe her political or governing philosophy in any detail. "

I think that will be coming up in the next book...That practice [journaling]allowed an orderly compilation over the past weeks and let me summarily wrap up at least some of my life so far, but next time, the focus will not be on me. [From Going Rogue]

"How can I in a single day with no help find error after error when I am no writer, no editor (as this blog post indicates), and no specialist?"

The blogger finds "error after error", but doesn't (can't) name one....Right.

26 posted on 12/01/2009 2:24:47 PM PST by Ranald S. MacKenzie (It's the philosophy, stupid.)
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To: freekitty

One can only split hair that left lying around........


27 posted on 12/01/2009 2:28:17 PM PST by deport (92 DAYS UNTIL THE TEXAS PRIMARY....... MARCH 2, 2010)
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To: Bob J
One of the most damaging charcteristics of a Palin campaign

There is no "campaign", doorknob.

that I can foresee is the actions of her most ardent supporters.

As opposed to the banshees like you wailing over a private citizen.

Their relentless, nasty and profane attacks on any legitimate criticisms and on those who have the gall to make them only drive potential supporters and votes away from her.

Quit being a hypocrite, Bob - you're the one that's asking for it when you post your vanities trying to cut down her supporters.

28 posted on 12/01/2009 3:54:01 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (10 YEARS OF FREEPING! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY EEE!!!)
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To: Bob J
From the author, John Mark Reynolds:
... but I am still at a loss to describe her political or governing philosophy in any detail.

This chap either has a reading deficiency or a deficiency with the truth.

Bob, you are really having to dig up some loopy fringe characters to support your bias against Gov. Palin. Why are you so afraid of someone who will govern according to the US Constitution, and clean up some of the corruption in DC?

29 posted on 12/01/2009 4:15:25 PM PST by meadsjn (Sarah 2012, or sooner)
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