The new biography of Sarah Palin by Joe McGinniss is entitled, “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin.” It is riveting reading. McGinniss is widely considered one of the best investigative political journalists in the nation and his highly-publicized “stalking” of Palin was fodder for the 24-hour news cycle throughout 2010.
The reality of McGinniss’ journey is detailed in the book. It paints a damning picture of Palin and, even worse, contains a frightening revelation that Palin is not only an ethically challenged politician, she is an ethically challenged person and a dominionist determined to remake the United States into an evangelical theocracy. No other politician, with the exception of Alabama’s former Chief Justice Roy Moore has ever represented such a dominionist threat to the rights of American citizens.
The book details Palin’s sordid personal life. Her sexcapades; her penchant for nude flirting (in the name of Jesus!) in the presence of other women; her short-term infatuation with having sex with black men; and her sexual affairs (and husband, Todd’s). The book recounts numerous takes of Palin’s narcissism and her inability to lovingly parent her children except when television cameras are around. One family friend of the Palins who later turned against them told McGinniss that Palin has “neglected her own kids. She’s too narcissistic to care about her kids. It’s always ‘me, me, me,’ and everybodyelse is always wrong. She’s so narcissistic she couldn’t even care for a pet.”
The book goes on to detail the seamy business dealings the Palins have had over the years; the use by the Palins of veiled threats of violence to control their detractors; the flailing victimology of her psyche which is used to blame those she is attacking; her refusal to read any book, article of document unless it aligns with her dominionist Christian belief ; her fervent belief that the Earth is 6,000 years old – indeed the list is endless.
What is most chilling about this revelatory book is Palin’s single-minded crusade to obliterate the rights of Americans under the United States Constitution while claiming to support and defend it.
When she was elected mayor of Wasilla – thanks to an anti-Semitic smear campaign against her opponent – Palin went on what McGinniss calls a “reign of terror.” She had used moderate Republican operatives to get elected, then jettisoned them because they weren’t good enough Christians. Instead, she installed as her cohorts John Birch Society members, operatives of the Alaska Independence Party, a group that advocates Alaska’s secession from the union, and further aligned herself with an extreme sect of the Assembly of God church, the views of which approaches neo-Nazism.
She then fired anyone who worked for the town of Wasilla who would not swear their personal allegiance to her personally. She actually called each employee in and demanded their oath of allegiance!
Palin closed the Wasilla Museum and fired its director because she said no one cared about history or culture. She then openly violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and demanded the Wasilla librarian remove a list of books that were offensive to her Christian beliefs, including any text that mentioned established science that her cohorts, the Birchies, the independies and the radical dominionists found contrary to Biblical teaching. When the librarian refused and threatened suit, Palin’s supporters went to the library and checked out the books. Most were never turned back in, others came back with entire passages blacked out with permanent magic marker. Palin further demanded the removal of several books about homosexuality, telling the librarian the gays were evil and perverts.
Palin was completely unable to run the town’s business, and hired an administrator to do it for her. Against Alaska law, she bought a $50,000 Ford Excursion with city money and treated it as her own. She remodeled her office without approval of the city council. She fired long-time city employees without following the labor laws which govern such occasions. Those who sought legal counsel never got their day in court because the lawyers backed out after receiving threats from the Palin camp. When the city’s attorney cautioned Palin that such acts were illegal, he was put on her hit list.
Palin pushed through unrestrained development, often spending millions of taxpayer dollars to build “city” buildings on private land owned by her supporters, thus giving free buildings to her faithful. Any building built on any land becomes the property of the land. Talk about kick backs!
The unrestrained and unregulated development under Palin resulted in massive pollution to Lake Lucille, the lake so fondly featured in Palin’s reality show. What Palin didn’t mention in her show and McGinniss proves in his book, is Lake Lucille is now a dead lake, too polluted for either fishing or swimming.
When the Wasilla Frontiersman, the local paper, began to question Palin’s ethics and, indeed her sanity and behavior, she responded time and again by lying to paper and flatly denying her actions, even when those actions were documented. When she was caught in a lie, she went on a tirade about being the victim. Residents looked on in horror as Palin turned Wasilla into her personal kingdom.
When residents came to city hall for council meetings, they would try to ask questions and Palin would shout, “How dare you question me?” More than one recall was attempted, only to be put down by campaigns of duress and threats of violence by Palin’s minions.
Palin confounded people when she aligned herself and her dominionist allies with local bar owners and disbanded an Alcohol Task Force that was working to stop the rampant drunk driving on Wasilla’s streets. Palin had tip jars installed at the local bars and the tips all went to her, allegedly campaign donations. She publicly said DUI laws were unconstitutional and stopped the program despite howls of protest from law enforcement and emergency responders. The number of DUI accidents in Wasilla skyrocketed. Bars in Wasilla were allowed to remain open until 5 a.m., while neighboring communities closed their bars at 2 a.m. The result was a wave of drunken drivers heading to Wasilla to get in an extra three hours of revelry. The drunks would then begin driving home just as school buses began their morning runs filled with children. Despite the danger to the public, Palin never waivered in her support for her tip jar allies.
Palin announced and instituted a ban on abortions at the local hospital, resulting in a federal lawsuit that slapped her down hard. It mattered not to her that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land, in her mind Wasilla was hers to command.
Palin refused to accept any counsel related to local, state and federal law. She sat in meetings as if she were too bored to pay attention and refused to listen to discussions of laws and ordinances. She refused to take advice on compliance by the city with the United States and Alaskan Constitutions, insisting that she would do what she wanted until someone sued her and the Courts told her she couldn’t do it. (This is a tactic called, “Subject to Challenge” that is often used by corrupt politicians to skirt the letter of the law.) Palin, like the former Alabama chief justice, did whatever she wanted and claimed God told her to. When even some supporters asked her to read an economic report, she replied, “I never read anything that might conflict with my beliefs.”
All the while Palin was running Wasilla as her personal fiefdom, husband Todd was running amok as her enforcer. Todd Palin’s reputation for violence in Wasilla is legendary. When Wasilla got its first-ever black resident, Todd Palin attacked him merely because he was black and did so with the stated purpose of running the young man out of town. McGinnis details where many Wasilla residents state that Todd Palin was and is notorious as a heavy drinker and cocaine user. One named resident of Wasilla calls Todd Palin “emotionally unstable” and recounts numerous acts of violence.
When McGinniss moved into Wasilla to research and write his book, by chance he rented a house next door to the Palins. Wasilla is a small town and there are few rentals. It turned out the house McGinnis rented had been used as a halfway house for convicts transitioning from prison to freedom and was later used as a meth lab. Wasillans were uncomfortable with the house as both halfway house and meth lab, but the Palins never complained. They complained bitterly when the house was rented to a writer who merely wanted to research a book on their lives. Palin engaged in a smear campaign that was picked up by FOXNews and other media outlets on the right, including nutbar Glenn Beck, who claimed McGinniss was a pedophile who was watching Palin’s daughters through binoculars.
When McGinniss moved in, many Wasilla residents quietly warned him to buy a gun. They warned McGinniss of Todd Palin’s penchant for violence. McGinniss recounts residents coming to visit him to bring welcome gifts, often bringing along a gun for McGinniss to borrow. It happened repeatedly.
Still others came to offer alternative living arrangements, fearing for McGinniss’ safety. One Wasilla resident who grew up among the Palins offered McGinniss an AK 47 and told McGinnis that nothing less would be effective against Todd Palin.
McGinniss talks about how residents were either quietly afraid of the Palins or subversively acting as their minions. He recounts people making hand gestures as if their index finger was a gun and mimicking shooting him. He recounts incidents where people who were interviewed by McGinnis had their car windows shot out.
I watched all of Palin’s reality series and did not notice what was missing. After reading McGinniss’ book I realized what it was. The series never featured Palin interacting with Wasilla residents. It was only her and a cadre of close friends. The book makes it clear why.
McGinniss’ book is not a hit job without attribution. He names names, dates, places and people with clarity. His interviews are documented and have been fact-checked.
The net effect of McGinniss’ book is that it paints a disturbing picture of a power-hungry politician and her husband who will stop at nothing to obtain power. Their dominionist beliefs – i.e. that they make the rules because God talks to them – is a threat to the United States. Their penchant for claiming to defend the very Constitution they refuse to read is alarming. The Constitution was written by the Founding Fathers as a limiting document, designed to limit the power of government over people and narrowly define the powers and the limits on those powers that government has.
The Palins are nothing more than old-fashioned small town political thugs who have managed to paint themselves as quaint Alaskans, thanks to the public relations actions of the fervent FOXNews hierarchy.
Thus, Sarah Palin can only be considered by anyone who is passionate about defending the rights of Americans under the Constitution as a threat to security of America. Hopefully she will fade from the national stage and there will be no further presidential aspirations on her part.
The McGinniss book gives us a glimpse of how close America came to having a dominionist of dubious repute in the White House.
(Required by Alabama law: No representation is made that the services to be performed is greater than other lawyers.)