The most unbelievable thing about Going Rogue,
by the author-function "Sarah Palin," is that it's supposed to be
self-serving. The problem a self-serving narrative about Sarah Palin
confronts is that it's about Sarah Palin, whose entire life, it
appears, consists of worse and worse attempts to create self-serving
narratives explaining away bigger and bigger fuck-ups. Going Rogue's
burden is that it must claim to be the definitive, encyclopedic
explanation, the final excuse, for a long history of failure begat by
failure; it's an epic of failure, if you will, and if the goal here is
some kind of ultimate vindication, well, it is monumentally
unsuccessful. Going Rogue is,
at bottom, the story of every one of Sarah Palin's projects ending in
grotesque catastrophe; it is only self-serving in the sense that these
catastrophes either prove benign or turn out to be some other schlub's
fault. If everything I knew about Sarah Palin came from this book (and
basically it does), I would say her life has been like a play in which
a deus-ex-machina descends at the end of every act to bestow peace and harmony, except the deus forgot to put on pants and everyone's just standing around going "uhhhh..." and then the lights go out and the scene changes.
When Palin wraps up her tenure as Wasilla mayor, everyone she knows hates her, and she's jobless. Then she gets a job! But then she quits. When she completes her first annual budget as Governor, she alienates the entire Alaska legislature because some "legislative director" forgot to send a letter explaining her "funding criteria" to the legislators. Then a budget passes! And the legislature still hates her. At the end of her pregnancy with Trig, she "confessed to Todd that [she] may not have handled the whole pregnancy announcement thing right." Not to mention the whole delivery thing. But then of course Trig is delivered safely into the cruel cruel world of moose chili and having your image "desecrated" on the internet. Over and over again Palin lives this story of confounding and infuriating everyone around her, generating whole collective atmospheres of absurd malevolence and malevolent absurdity. And then everything just gets resolved. How? I don't know--it's a mystery! But maybe it's the magic of NO ABORTIONS EVER???
Finally, in the "Going Rogue" chapter, the intermittent (and increasingly frequent) cracklings of bald absurdity and maximum roguishness just break through the signal of normalcy once and for all, setting in for the entire period between August 29 and November 4, 2008. In theory this is the part that people read the book for, but as I came to this point my desire to continue was tempered by my desire to light myself on fire. The only benefit I got from this section was that it reminded me just how asinine the McCain campaign was. (Remember when Palin's Yahoo account was hacked?) One big reveal: Steve Schmidt apparently thought Palin's brain wasn't getting enough carbohydrates to function properly, which is why we've been hearing Palin complain about being told what to eat. Palin relates on page 285:
He then launched into a discussion of nutrition physiology, holding forth on the importance of carbohydrates to cognitive connections and blah-blah-blah.
And in one sublime sentence, an agglomeration of comedy gold on the scale of Scrooge McDuck's money bin, in which Palin says Steve Schmidt is a dick for suggesting she can't make cognitive connections while making a cognitive connection with "blah-blah-blah," we discern the yawning abyss of stupid through which Sarah Palin stumbles as she fails at everything, I can't take any more, the end.