Tuesday, December 08, 2009
The esteemed Stanley Fish writes a positive review of Sarah Palin's book:
Excerpts from Fish: (emp add)
My assessment of the book has nothing to do with the accuracy of its accounts.
As I remarked in a previous column, autobiographers cannot lie because anything they say will truthfully serve their project, which, again, is not to portray the facts, but to portray themselves.
Do I believe any of this? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that she does, and that her readers feel they are hearing an authentic voice. I find the voice undeniably authentic (yes, I know the book was written “with the help” of Lynn Vincent, but many books, including my most recent one, are put together by an editor). It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety.
Fish could have portrayed Palin accurately, but also show that "the voice of small-town America" is (a) a minority voice that should not dictate national policies, (b) wrong on policies (e.g. science, economic safety-net in today's world). But he is more enchanted by the social construct Palin and others live in.
Asked for comment, a wise observer noted:
I'd hasten to add that [Fish] also gives literary criticism, the University of Florida, opinion-writing, possessing the name Stanley and wearing shoes a bad name. His is the voice of a complete and utter ass.
Neil Gabler warned us the simpletons would go for her, but he forgot to mention maroons with PhDs.
Gabler's an idiot if he believes the only reason Nixon got the nomination in 1968 was through attacking the press. Nixon earned his way back into the GOP's good graces. In 1966, he barnstormed across the country, campaigning for more than 100 congressional candidates. As a result, Republicans gained 47 House seats. Apparently Palin plans to support the efforts of the teabaggers in primarying every Republican candidate they deem insufficiently conservative. The result will be chaos for the party. Personally, I hope that's precisely what she does. Nothing will doom her potential candidacy quicker.
I don't hate Sarah Palin. I just think she's a sad joke, and I pity anyone who actually believes she would be anything other than an absolute disaster as president. She's George W. Bush with a uterus.
As George Costanza told Jerry Seinfeld: "If you believe it, it's not a lie." (But what if your pants are on fire?)