And frankly, I'm not sure if "psychosis" is a strong enough term, even though it means to be completely out of touch with any semblance of reality. That's my impression of the guy after reading Sullivan's long screed attacking Sarah Palin with the most exceedingly fantastical demonizations I've ever read. And the kick of it is that Sullivan's even more clinically deranged than is to be expected, for the simply fact of not having found anything of real value with which to substantiate the allegations he's been making for over a year now. Just this passage gives you a hint of Sullivan's supremely unmatched hatred for Sarah Palin and of his fanatical repudiation of the essence of the all-American good that she epitomizes:
Well, as promised the Dish is back to normal. I'm not. "Going Rogue" is such a postmodern book that treating it as some kind of factual narrative to check (as I began to), or comparing its version of events with her previous versions of the same events (as I have), and comparing all those versions with what we know is empirical reality (so many lies, so little time) is just a dizzying task. The lies and truths and half-truths and the facts and non-facts are all blurred together in a pious puree of such ghastly prose that, in the end, the book can only really be read as a some kind of chapter in a cheap nineteenth century edition of "Lives of the Saints." But as autobiography.Read the whole thing for more of this phantasmagorical rupture with normal experience.
It is a religious book, full of myths and parables. And yet it is also crafted politically, with every single "detail" of the narrative honed carefully for specific constituencies. It is also some kind of manifesto - but not in the usual sense of a collection of policy proposals. It is a manifesto for the imagined life of an imagined Sarah Palin as a leader for all those who identify with the image and background she relentlessly claims to represent.
In this, the book is emblematic of late degenerate Republicanism, which is based not on actual policies, but on slogans now so exhausted by over-use they retain no real meaning: free enterprise is great, God loves us all, America is fabulous, foreigners are suspect, we need to be tough, we can't dither, we must always cut taxes, government is bad, liberals are socialists, the media hates you, etc etc.
I tried to write a fair account of Palin's various stories of her incredible fifth pregnancy, labor and delivery and to reconcile all the various facts we know and the various versions of the story she has told. Just for the record and because we have aired the public record on this before. I honestly however cannot make total sense of them in a way that I'm completely convinced by and so simply do not feel comfortable making any judgment on them in any way at this point. That's fair to her, my readers, my colleagues, and the innocent private people caught up in this circus.
I thought there might be some new facts in here that would illuminate my confusion and dispel the whole thing.
I should add that I'm reading the book now, and I'm finding it as an extremely satisfying account of the everywoman's tale of American exceptionalism. That is, Sarah Palin is our 21st century Frederick Jackson Turner, who was the author of the seminal account of the American political culture, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." With Palin we have our modern-day political scribe of the frontier existence, the rugged pioneer of traditionalism who rejoices in the Alaskan harvest of the great remaining bounty of the nation's magnificent destiny.
This is what is so blindingly difficult for radical leftists to accept. For in Sarah Palin, we have the personification of the culture of expansion and power at the core of America's mission. We see it in Going Rogue's regaling of family hunting trips, and Sarah Palin's ethos of sustenance in faith in God. This strength is further congealed in the primacy of family at the center of all life's meaning. Palin's book is just simply an essential testament to the realism of contemporary conservatism, and to the enduring appeal of the classic American ideal.
And I can write all of this with the benefit of reading just portions of the very first chapter, which includes Palin's recitation of her squeamishness at holding warm moose eyes while out for a morning hunt with her father. This testament is also found in her retelling of the love of the outdoor life, and especially the cherishing of the long summers of the Alaskan experience, where her life has been lived in doubly exhuberance in the knowledge of the long -- and often hard -- winters that came to the land.
I'll have more on this, but I rest in my own supreme satisfaction that Palin's story is my story as well. It reminds me of my own experiences surfing the beaches of South Orange County, four-wheeling and shooting in the Southern California outback, and spending summers hiking the raw Sierra Nevadas with my frontiersman uncle, Doug Walton, a man who at 76 years-old remains a rugged entrepreneurial explorer and tour guide, and one of my all-time great role-models:
This is a central foundation of what means to be an American, something that Andrew Sullivan will never, ever grasp.
Added: Linked by SWAC Girl, "Sarah, Alaska, and Growing Up Free":
I, too, enjoyed growing up in the outdoors ... camping in Shenandoah National Park, swimming at Virginia Beach and North Carolina's Outer Banks, hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, exploring the Northern Neck at my aunt's place on the rivah, and learning to shoot a rifle on the sprawling peanut farm of friends in eastern Virginia.
Shooting a gun? Camping with bears? Hiking the wilderness? Those are so foreign to many folks ... but for me it was a freedom-loving childhood just as Donald describes growing up in California, and Sarah Palin describes growing up as part of the Alaskan experience.