“I started this with every good intention toward her. I was just shocked and appalled at every step at what I found. And I wrote this story sort of against my will. It wasn’t what I wanted to write, it wasn’t what I wanted to find. It was what was forced on me by the facts.” Michael Joseph Gross
With utmost enthrallment I have read Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury six times, so far. Michael Joseph Gross impales (think Vlad The Impaler) ‘Sarah Barracuda’ on a shish kabob stick and barbecues her slowly until she modulates to Alaskan pulled pork, that falls off of the bone with the slightest touch. Any of this bruising charges my battery, but I need to be selective, so I am zooming in on a handful of topics that most piqued my deleterious curiosity.
I thought I’d glancingly analyze a few of the points made in the Sound and the Fury, that stayed with me well after I had completed my study of it. The first theme that sticks out for me is the incredible level of fear that many Wasillians feel toward Sarah. This would explain to a large degree why so many want to remain anonymous; it’s sheer fear, you see. Second, I’ll take a look at the Joe McGinniss embroilment that played out like a heavy metal anthem in the ‘lamestream media.’
My third bit of banter will mention the utter consternation I experienced when I realized the narrowness of Palin’s target audience, and who in Hell’s name the Prayer Warriors are, that lurk in the secret pockets of the American panorama. Another thing that caught my owl-eye, is that at one point Gross compares Palin to William Jennings Bryant. This struck me as perfectly absurd, so I poked my nose in some Populist Pages as an empty attempt to connect the dots.
The connection wasn’t there, as hard as I searched for it. So that will do it for now. In my conclusion I’ll underscore my themes of Palin’s dodginess by focusing in on her latest tirade against Michael Gross, where she called him ‘impotent’ and ‘limp’ to Sean Hannity on his radio show. This is the very point that Michael is making in his Vanity Fair article, Sarah can be mean-faced and will lunge like a viper at anyone who criticizes her. So without further ado, let’s dissect a frog in The Sound and the Fury.
One thing that jolted me in Michael Gross’s Vanity Fair composition was the level of fear felt by so many people towards Sarah Palin. This would help to explain why so many want to remain anonymous or simply refuse to talk to reporters. They are afraid to divulge the many gaffes that they are aware of, the buffoonery she exhibited in the performance of her duties, for fear of retribution.
The one case that always comes up is Troopergate, where Sarah got Mike Wooten, a state policeman who had a falling out with Sarah’s sister, fired from his job. Abuse of her power as governor had taken place, but Gross gives other examples as well. Colleen Cottle, a brave woman from an established family in Wasilla, remembers Sarah’s incompetence in managing the budget when mayor of Wasilla.
Colleen Cottle is the exception, she is not afraid of Palin, but most people tremble at the wrath of the hokey mom who will go for the jugular vein of any singing ratfinks who would undermine her path to glory. One ex-aide from when she was mayor is keeping mum, for fear of losing his state job. Whereas Sarah would work only a half day, this poor aide would have to perform the lion’s share of her duties, while she gallivants off in the Alaskan sunset.
How can we explain this power-axe wielded by Palin that commands the kind of fear reminiscent of the McCarthy Era? One has to keep in mind that Sarah is no local-yokel anymore. Her powerbase is with conservative Christian fundamentalists that exist in isolated pockets all over the 50 states of our country. And for me, the real proof of her power is that Going Rogue has sold over 3 million copies. I wouldn’t even touch it!
No wonder people are afraid of her. The case of the writer Joe McGinniss is telling for this level of terror that SP can launch with a mere push of a button. Sarah uses Twitter and Facebook to attack her perceived enemies. True, Joe was brazen in renting a house right next to the Palins, but he’s writing a book on Sarah and needs to be close to his source.
“Here he is about 15 feet away on the neighbor’s rented deck overlooking my children’s play area and my kitchen window. We’re sure to have a doozy to look forward to with this treasure he’s penning. Wonder what kind of material he’ll gather while overlooking Piper’s bedroom, my little garden, and the family’s swimming hole?”
This is a post of Palin’s on Facebook back in June. The problem is when she does this; the crazies come out of the woodwork in droves and go on the attack, like belligerent bumblebees. The hatred she can inspire is scary, and Joe McGinnis definitely got a taste of it last summer. Joe also ran into difficulties when trying to get hometown people who were willing to speak out. Joe terms it as an “undercurrent of fear.” Here’s a quote from a Huffington Post piece from September 4th.
“People-I don’t know if they’re afraid of shadows or whether there’s something real there-she’s no longer in a position of governmental influence but there are people up there who are scared to death to talk because if Sarah ever found out they talked, oh, something terrible would happen to them.”
This is disquieting, this kind of fear; Sarah’s beginning to look like a demagogue, a Huey Long figure whose grassroots base are like hypnotized commandos ready to strike out at a casual beckoning call from their Red Queen. McGinness got thousands of threatening, hateful emails last June, that targeted his family and weren’t afraid to press the ugly button. Please note this abuse of power and the bold manner in which Joe defends himself to Matt Lauer back in June.
“The power Palin has to incite hatred and her willingness and readiness to do it…She has pushed a button and unleashed the hounds of hell and now that they’re out there slavering, and barking and growling, and that’s the same kind of tactic, and I’m not calling her a Nazi, but that’s the same kind of tactic that the Nazi troopers used in Germany in the ’30s and I don’t think there’s any place for it in America.”
This is astounding! And Sarah stays clear of moderate (middle) Americans when on tour giving her ‘Populist’ stump speeches. Naturally enough, she claims that her devotees are ordinary Americans, but Michael Gross exposes this chicanery in his scathing Vanity Fair treatise. Generally speaking, her target audience for paid speeches is Tea Party functions, Republican organizations and ‘Get Motivated’ seminars, whatever that means.
Sometimes, however, these rallies are ‘fabricated shells’ pulled together by aficionados of the radical right. One such happening was The Winning America Back, which was organized by a Missouri political-action committee called Preserving American Liberty (PAL-PAC). The sole purpose of this superficial group was just to get SP to speak for an outrageous fee of over $100,000. Once she gave her speech, PAL-PAC vanished.
There are other examples too. The bottom line is that these ‘shell organizations’ are not for real in any way. They are backed by the money of rich individuals with an extremist right agenda, who feel as if Sarah can champion their cause. This is hardly a ‘Populist,’ or natural source of democracy, or a reflection of the common people who are being trampled on by Washington, which is the bombast Sarah touts so pompously.
Gross reveals that many of Palin’s followers believe that Sarah’s hyperbole duplicates the career of the Progressive Populist, William Jennings Bryan. A Bryan biographer describes his philosophy as “the yearning for a society run by and for ordinary people who lead virtuous lives.” This comparison is ballyhoo and utterly absurd. Sarah’s viewpoint more precisely mirrors the Gay-Basher Anita Bryant, as best I can tell.
When I heard the comparison to William Jennings Bryan, I laughed out loud. Elaboration of this analogy is an insult to -The Great Commoner,’ but the blistering differences are far too numerous to list here. Bryan was a liberal, Sarah is a conservative. Bryan was a master at the stump speech, Sarah rarely gives a speech without factual errors and bold-face lies, such as her claims to hunt moose and to prepare chili from her own kill.
Okay, so Sarah is no WJB, not even close. And there are so many other issues with Sarah that are covered in Michael Gross’s fabulous spread in Vanity Fair. Michael touches on her violent temper, her use of a ghost writer (since she can’t write herself), her misuse of social media, her shafting of poor workers with non-existent tips, and her greed for money with bloated fees for her vapid, vacuous speeches, that contain nothing but power-phrases-little content or ideas on how to improve the economy or solve difficult problems of foreign policy.
And now she lashes out at Michael Gross on a recent Sean Hannity radio program. Those folk in Wassila are right; when you anger this cougar she will bite you like a snapping sea-turtle. She refers to him with a sexual metaphor, as limp. Michael Gross is gay, and so by extension, this could be a ‘gay bashing’ reference. But SP is cornered now; the scores (the allegations) in the Vanity Fair article cannot be denied. Gross hit the ball out of the park. Palin is a narcissistic demagogue with a limited political future. She’s no lady Will Rogers, I might add!
“Those who are impotent and limp and gutless and they go on their anonymous-sources that are anonymous-and impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them as factual references. It just slays me because it’s so absolutely clear what the state of yellow journalism is today that would take these anonymous sources as fact.”
Wrong, Sarah! Michael Gross is not gutless. He is actually very courageous and has exposed you as a liar and a phony who is simply out for bags of loot and could care less about the ‘common people.’ Your backers are not ordinary people, they are the wealthy who want to reverse the progress we have made in the last few years towards a working democracy, that represents all-Blacks, Hispanics, Women, Asians, Hindus, Muslims and the Poor-in short, all-inclusive, not just your white-wasp fundamentalist Christians (or your fake moose hunters).