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Stephen H. Dinan, of the Huffington Post, actually wrote a very positive review of Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue.  As a liberal he came to the realization that the liberal histaria and hate directed at Sarah Palin was manufactured and she really is something special.  As part of the 12 steps for recovery from liberalism all liberals should be required to read Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny and Going Rogue. I posted part of the review of Dissolving the Palin Prejudice:

Reading Going Rogue was something of a test for myself - could I find the place of appreciation, respect, and even love for Sarah Palin?

What I found is that it wasn't really that hard, actually, simply by taking the time to meet her on her own turf rather than through sounds bites, spin, and polarized media battles. Reading someone's personal memoir is an intimate journey into their inner sanctum, and I developed a real appreciation for Sarah in reading the book. Aspects of her that seemed coarse, simplistic, or combative during the campaign were revealed to be a product of frontier values and growing up in a culture that is faced with subzero temperatures and constant tests of survival.


Perhaps the most moving aspect of the book is the way in which she never waivers in her family commitments throughout the political journey. She passes up an opportunity to contest a Senate seat in order to manage her son's hockey team. She breast feeds in front of a taken-aback lawmaker. Team Palin is a part of every campaign and a constant presence in her official roles. Her family is at the center of her life in a way that feels whole and balanced, which is both impressive and commendable as we all seek to balance competing demands on our time.

My developing appreciation of her formative years in the book led to a different view of the pressure cooker of national, presidential politics - I felt far more compassion for the ugly way in which she was attacked by the press, dismissed by the opposition, and muzzled by patronizing campaign bosses. She faced strong prejudices from people like myself who were scared that her more black-or-white, provincial-seeming perspective would someday be in the Oval Office. We were also worried by her folksy appeal and ability to attack Obama aggressively while appearing quite charming. The result of that reaction was a barrage of distorted stories, inflated fears, and downright misrepresentations, some of which were quite damaging to her family. After reading in her own words what she went through, I felt more compassion for her and dismay about the meat grinder that we've created for political leaders - an occupation for which we truly need our best and brightest.

Reading Going Rogue makes me understand that Sarah is not the ruthlessly ambitious and cutthroat caricature we feared; she is a woman who has befriended Democrats personally and professionally, shown real leadership in fighting corruption, and taken a more nuanced position on several issues in which she seemed far more polarizing. She seems quite sincere in her desire to serve in whatever way the universe calls for that service.

All that said, I still bristled when she launches in the final part of the book into a diatribe about what our country needs, which is strongly colored with right-wing platitudes and a self-righteous air as well as the tendency to portray liberals as the enemy rather than fellow allies in evolving our country. I would love to see more thoughtful reflections on positions and values, a deeper understanding of history, and less of the combative edge, all of which would make her a more unifying leader (and likely lead to fewer arrows back at her and her family).


Most of all, I come way from the book seeing Sarah as a woman who loves her family deeply, seeks to live a life of integrity, and wants America to be strong, successful and vibrant. While I may disagree with some of her policies and perspectives, I can better respect both her sincere patriotic intent as well as her willingness to take on hard fights in the service of democracy, in addition to her championing of the everyday people who often feel marginalized in our political process. I still would not vote for her for President, but I do respect her more as a person and as a leader of an important base of Americans.

I come away from reading Going Rogue feeling that it would be a useful act of citizenship for all those who feel prejudice towards her to read her book and meet her on her own turf in order to heal the lingering prejudices. I feel more balanced for having done so. I would also urge conservatives who hate or fear Obama to read his autobiography to better understand the man behind the political leader and thus heal their own biases.

Full Review:
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