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Going Rogue;A Missed Opportuity

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Richard Cummings
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by Richard Cummings

Sarah Palin's new book, "Going Rogue" could have made a difference in America today, but it does not. Palin had the opportunity to be the kind of leader America needs, someone in the spirit of Huey Long, who advocated that America should "share the wealth." As governor, she made such a gesture when she sent checks to Alaskans from the state's oil revenues to help them cover their heating bills. At a time when many Americans are struggling to get by, Wall Street is recording some of its greatest profits ever. This money is being made by firms like Goldman Sachs, who were responsible for the financial collapse and which received bailout money enabling it to going back to taking high risks with low interest money from the Fed.

Palin's dilemma is that her careerism as a Republican makes it impossible for her to be a true populist on the side of the millions of Americans who need a hand. Instead, she attempted to peddle a false populism while promoting a reactionary agenda and exploiting social issues as a way to pander to the fears and prejudices of the those Americans who can be easily manipulated away from their own self-interest. Had Palin used her book to state a case for taxing the super-rich at at least a fifty percent rate and imposing a wealth tax on these same people, while supporting a plan for health insurance so working Americans did not have to fear bankruptcy because of serious illness, she would have propelled herself into a real position of leadership. Instead, she relies on cliches about the sinfulness of Washington while offering no solutions to the nation's problems. Digging up the same old resentments against the McCain campaign only shows her to be a small-minded person with no vision.

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Because her husband belongs to a union, she calls herself pro-union while taking positions that have nothing to do with creating jobs in America. One gets the impression that while she uses populist rhetoric, she is winking at the same time to the very business interests that have shown themselves to be anti-labor, shipping jobs overseas and manipulating the stock market for short term gain while threatening the entire economy with disaster. The announcement by Goldman Sachs that it planned, along with Warren Buffett, to put up $500 million for loans to small business by way of an apology for the selfish moves it made that brought the markets down, is too little and too late. Here was a chance for Palin to lambast Lloyd Blankfein for what he has done to America. Instead, she wastes everybody's time on her petty concerns about how she objected to be remade by the McCain campaign and the way she was treated by Katie Couric. What "Going Rogue" shows us about Sarah Palin is that she is all ambition and not substance, an opportunist without principal, who burst into the spotlight and blew it.


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Graduate of Princeton and Columbia Law School, Ph.D. Cambridge University, Social and Political Sciences. Taught at Haile Sellassie I University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and author of The Pied Piper-Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream. Wrote (more...)
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