Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

InCity Times book review: Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin

Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin

By Frank Bailey with Ken Morris & Jeanne Devon

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

I almost feel sorry for Sarah Palin.

Palin has been bashed since John McCain made the questionable decision to make her his Vice Presidential running mate in 2008. Then there was Joe McGinnis’s book “The Rogue: the Search for the Real Sarah Palin”, the recent HBO movie “Game Change” depicting her as a total airhead, and now Frank Bailey’s “Blind Allegiance.”

Bailey’s book is far superior to McGinnis’ book or the movie. McGinnis was on the outside looking in; much of his book was questionable speculation. Bailey was with Palin from the start, an insider in her 2006 race for Governor, director of boards and commissions in Palin’s brief two year administration, and a Christian evangelical who was a true believer in Palin’s platform of fiscal conservatism. His account of her is therefore all the more damaging.

The book is based primarily on 50,000 emails Bailey saved over the years. The emails between Palin, Bailey, and other Alaska political figures are quoted at length. This technique can try the reader’s patience. This book is overwritten from the perspective of someone who reads for enjoyment, but it will be a valuable resource for historians. It speaks to Palin’s own inexperience and lack of judgment as a political operative that she put so many highly revealing remarks, quoted by Bailey, in writing.
Reagan on high heels

Palin became renowned in Alaska when she resigned a $124,000 a year job on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and exposed the corruption of fellow commission member Randy Reudrich, who was also Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party. Palin launched an insurgency within the Republican Party against Republican Governor Frank “Murky” Murkowski, a Nixon-style figure known for his corruption and nepotism. Murkowski actually had the nerve to appoint his own daughter to fill his vacant U.S. Senate seat. Palin alleged that Murkowski was “shafting” Alaska taxpayers by favoring breaks to large oil companies.

Bailey saw Palin as a “Reagan on high heels” and called her at home to offer to work in her campaign. After an exchange of emails, he attended in November 2005 a Palin fundraiser in Wasilla, the town where Palin was Mayor.

Bailey introduced himself to Palin and said, “I can paint. Clean floors and toilets. Wash windows.”

“[M]y sincerely naïve offer struck the right cord,” recalled Bailey. “With little more than this brief introduction Sarah invited me inside the campaign. As I’ve learned since, only in Alaska is it possible to be invisible one day and in the middle of a political movement the next.”

Republican revolt

Bailey’s book describes an insurrection within the Alaska Republican party led by Palin. It was a real grass roots rebellion by fiscal conservatives, “a seat of the pants operation” micromanaged by Palin. Bailey describes how the campaign purchased a machine to make their own campaign buttons, and searched through sofa cushions for coins to put in parking meters, rather than paying for more expensive garage parking. “Literally, we were a campaign for which a $100 outlay might require the attention of Sarah, me, and as many as three or four others,” said Bailey.

“However, our seat-of-the-pants operation suited us,” continued Bailey. “I believed that the we operated was how government should be run and would be run under Sarah Palin: cutting waste and chopping expenses to the bone; fiscal conservatism at its finest. Sell assets, reduce government, and simply do more for less.”

Disillusionment set in. Palin turned out to be quite the diva; she was given to rages against subordinates, friends, and above all, political enemies. She was ultra-sensitive to any form of criticism, whether it was coming from newspaper editorials, talk show hosts, or Internet bloggers. Bailey spends much of this book relating how Palin would order her subordinates to respond through surrogates to political criticism, no matter how minute or inconsequential.

Bailey himself appears like a cult member, blindly obeying and doing Palin’s bidding, no matter how distasteful he found it. Reading between the lines, one gets the impression that Bailey was in love with Palin and found himself being led around like a lovesick puppy.

Bailey does clear up some misconceptions about Palin, He wrote that the rumors that Palin’s youngest child, Trig, was actually the daughter of Palin’s daughter Brisol, are completely false. McGuiness in his book gave this canard some credence.

Writing about Palin’s famous stumble with Katie Couric, Bailey said that Palin read Alaska’s daily newspapers every day and received a summary report on what was said by other media outlets. But Palin, demonstrating an understandable inferiority complex about relying on Alaska’s local media, made the disastrous decision to evade the question rather than answer it truthfully. If Palin had told the truth, the entire matter would have been ignored.

Intellectually unqualified

There are some good things that can be said about Sarah Palin. She had the courage to lead a successful insurgency against a corrupt political establishment dominated by her own party, speaking out when others remained silent. Finding out during her pregnancy that the child she was carrying had Down’s syndrome, Palin made the courageous decision to have the child instead of aborting it.

But she clearly is unqualified intellectually and temperamentally to be President of the United States. Which is to bad for the Republican party, because America as a whole would benefit if someone with Sarah Palin’s charisma would lead fiscal conservatives to take back the Republican party from the warmongers and deficit producing supply-siders who have hijacked it.

On the Arizona shootings

By Jack Hoffman

As soon as Jared Lee Loughner was captured, the media began its blame game: What was the motive? But as the smoke began to clear, a picture began to evolve of a madman gone wild.

The evidence so far has shown that Loughner takes on the description of a paranoid schizophrenic. Studies have shown less than 1% of paranoid schizophrenic will become violent. What we do know is that Jared Loughner listed on his own website some of his favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, Through the Looking Glass, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Communist Manifesto. David Brooks of The New York Times writes “that many of these books take on a common theme: individuals trying to control their own thoughts and governments, or some other force trying to take that control away.”

Certainly Jared’s behavior and tirades in his classroom, while brandishing the same gun used in his murderous nightmare, seem to lend lots of credence to mental instability. Behavior that many of his students, acquaintances and neighbors all knew and did nothing about. So where were the parents in all of this? Continue reading On the Arizona shootings

Tea Party mania! What’s it all about, America?

By Chris Horton

Populism. That is the word for today. Populism used to mean “grass-roots democracy; working-class activism; egalitarianism.” One dictionary defines it as “The belief that greater popular participation in government and business is necessary to protect individuals from exploitation by inflexible bureaucracy†and financial conglomerates.”

So how did a conservative, backward-looking movement like the Tea Party, lay claim to this word? How could a movement funded by billionaires and allied with the Republican Party, promoting the gutting of the government services that regular people depend on and spreading the poison of anger at each other, blaming each other, blaming our unions, blaming our neighbors who had to cross a border without papers in search of work, lay claim to the word “populist”?

The short answer is “anger.” The part of populism which the Tea Party has appropriated is expression of the people’s anger. And the liberals, the progressives, the non-profit and Democratic and issue-group activists have allowed them to claim it by default.
. . . . .
And how did this Tea Party move so quickly from fringe to central player? How did it become a serious threat, identified with according to opinion polls by millions, able to swing or even win elections? To the political classes this seems almost incomprehensible. The anger of the people that is being channeled by this Tea Party is alien to them. Angry people scare them. But the reason they don’t “get it” is that they don’t get what’s going on with us.

The central reality that most regular people – say, the “bottom” 80% of the population – have been living with for maybe the past 20 years, and acutely for the past 2 or 3 years for the “bottom” 90%, is that for us the economy is increasingly failing, becoming a disaster. For working people, small business people and now even the lower ranks of the professions, the social safety net that was fraying is shredding. Continue reading Tea Party mania! What’s it all about, America?

Stupid, stupid Tea Baggers and our trough of stupidity

By Jack Hoffman

Not so long ago when the country and Congress were debating the health care bill InCity Times little TV group (Straight Talk on TV 13) was getting ready to tape our weekly show.

What angered me so much during that show was the stupidity vis a vis the new Health Care Reform bill that was being expressed by the opposition. I doubt if anyone doing the yelling ever took the time to read just a little of the bill. I doubt if many of the folks in Congress did, too. Oops! Sorry! They have congressional aides for that.

So I said to ICT editor and publisher Rose [Tirella]: let’s talk about this stupidity.

She said: Jack, this will never go over in Worcester.

I’ll bet the folks up there might be a little embarrassed about just how stupid we really are so I’m letting it ride … . Continue reading Stupid, stupid Tea Baggers and our trough of stupidity

Book review: The Battle for America 2008

The Battle for America 2008 By Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

“It’s a pretty fascinating slice of Americana” – Barack Obama on the 2008 election.

The 2008 Presidential election will fascinate historians for generations to come. And the aptly titled “The Battle for America 2008” by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson will be great resource for historians writing about that drama. It is a great first draft of history.

Non-partisan

This book is unusually impartial. This is because the authors used the journalistic device of letting the primary actors – candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Sarah Pallin – speak for themselves. Throughout the book, at key historical moments, the major players are quoted in conversations with campaign aides, coming to a decision or explaining an event. Continue reading Book review: The Battle for America 2008