The funniest sentence thus far in Going Rogue occurs about a third of the way through the second chapter when our heroine — speaking through the Palinese translator Lynn Vincent — declares that “life is too short to hold a grudge.” This is a warm piece of advice that Sarah Palin predictably spends much of her time ignoring as she recounts her contentious early years in local and state politics. Few pages are allowed to turn without our deposed governor reminding us of the bêtes noires who interfered with her efforts to bring “common-sense conservatism” — a phrase she’s been loading into the wingnut beer bong for the past few days — to the people of Wasilla and, soon enough, their fellow Alaskans. As Palin revealed in her first chapter, the first “big word” she learned how to spell was “different.” And because different people are sometimes scary — perhaps not President Black Man Terrorist scary, but scary in that ordinary, non-Negro way — Palin knows that she’ll have to deal with resistance along the road to glory.
Palin appears to feel that anyone who even seeks to verify her previous statements is a menace, driven by the desire to trap her into some snobbery powered iron maiden. Palin not only must but is entitled to say anything to escape. There is no mess to clean up once she uses nonsense, lies or babble to evade a seemingly benign debate moderator, interviewer or pool reporter. The courtesy to atone for gaffes or lies would be wasted upon nefarious, unprincipled people who want to see her fail.
One must agree with Palin’s correctness or risk being included in her list of menaces who function to destroy her. A person is not safe from reproach even after Palin decides they are agreeable enough. News stories are littered with former friends, aides and subordinates attempting to defend themselves from Palin’s negative characterizations. To the general voter, there is no useful policy she can hold because there is no public principle that is fluid and abstract enough to coincide with unchallengeable definitions of logic or fairness. To agree with Palin is an approval of politics for the sake of the politician.