Someday, in the not too distant future, the world will look back and laugh at the insanity that was the Sarah Palin saga. It will wonder what possessed American people and the media to take her seriously -- on a private, political or even religious level -- when she obviously lacks even the slightest semblance of substance.
Many people interpret the enormous popularity of Going Rogue as a sign that she is a force to be reckoned with on the national stage. Yet, while the book does enjoy success at the moment, it's important to note that most of the sales were based on advance orders and first day purchases -- this was spurred by her popularity, not the merit of the book itself.
Ironically, the book will soon prove the instrument of Sarah Palin's fall from grace.
Eyes Wide Open
Now that they have it in their hands, it is quite likely that even her most ardent fans will find it hard to continue defending her. They had built up Sarah Palin as a paragon of virtue, and she is proving to be no better than the venomous, backstabbing neighbor next door, out to make a quick buck on their gullibility. This sense of disillusionment will spread through the ranks, and book sales will quickly plummet. The reason is simple: One can disagree with the methods by which Palin's Christian fundamentalist and conservative core seek to impose their values upon society, but they are not without good intentions. They genuinely seek ethical and scrupulously sincere spiritual and political leaders to guide them. When you open their eyes to the truth, they quickly, and utterly, reject those that prove unworthy of their blind trust. Time and again, popular ministers and conservative politicians -- who were caught with prostitutes, cheating on their wives, or in otherwise compromising moral positions -- were soon sent hurtling to the abyss in shame, rarely to be heard from again. In Going Rogue, Palin flirts dangerously close to morally dubious grounds, and it is making supporters wonder if she too isn't spiritually corrupt and undeserving of their loyalty.
Meanwhile, political analysts seem reluctant to say outright that she has no future as a viable political candidate. Yet, she doesn't. Going Rogue's unrelenting attack and betrayal of high-ranking Republican operatives has decisively derailed any remaining support within GOP ranks for her as a presidential candidate. The book's pugnacious revisionism is so mercilessly critical of top members of her Republican presidential election committee that even John McCain, who up to now has stubbornly refused to admit her selection was a catastrophic mistake that sunk his presidential hopes -- was forced to surface and defend a member of his team, whom Palin accused of brutish incompetence. What organization would be suicidal enough to risk bringing such a ruthless traitor into their midst?
Palin of course claims that her strength lies in the fact that she rejects the Washington political machines of both parties, and that's why she will make a better leader. However, she is heavily delusional in her belief that she will win any kind of national office on the strength of her popularity alone. The reality is that, on her own, she simply lacks the organizational infrastructure to mount a national political campaign. Also, Palin goes where the money is. That's why she quit her job as governor of Alaska, to be free to accept a lucrative publishing contract and public speaking opportunities. Why would she give up almost limitless earning potentials as a private citizen for the dreary and heavily restrictive life of a politician?
Finally, since losing the race as vice president, Palin's popularity has steadily deteriorated. From a favorable rating of 58% shortly after joining the GOP presidential ticket, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, it sunk to a low of 40% after she resigned as governor of Alaska. Today, polls show that 60% of Americans consider her unqualified to run for president. Everything she has done on her own has cost her support.
In the past, Palin could blame Katie Couric for leaving her more substantive answers on the cutting room floor. She could blame the liberal media for engaging in "gotcha journalism." But now, she only has herself to blame for the consistently hypocritical persona she presents in Going Rogue. In Palin's words, "I want people to read my book so they can read unfiltered what my values are, what my record is, what my accomplishments are..." Based on the book, her overriding moral code seems to be, "I'm going to look good at all cost, even if it means throwing everyone else under the bus."
Foisting so many lies upon the public in Going Rogue, Palin has set herself up to fail. At some point, one of those lies will come back to haunt her. She now has a professional writer for her speeches, doing her Facebook updates, and issuing official "policy" statements, but she is still compelled to speak extemporaneously periodically. Eventually, she won't simply mangle the English language, she'll also contradict herself or offer a perspective of events that will be inconsistent with her book. As well, with her every move being watched, chances are also strong she will eventual say something or do something that will bring into question her moral character.
By this time next year, tens of thousands of copies of Going Rogue will litter the discontinued bin, un-sellable, even at a 90% discount. It's already half-priced on Amazon.
Of course, in a final, desperate bid to reclaim her past glory, Palin will probably issue another book blaming her current ghostwriter and her publisher for distorting everything she actually meant to say in Going Rogue. By then, of course, no one will care.