Alan Anderson writes:
Sarah Palin warned us she is going “rogue.” Her book describes her roadmap: In order to progress, “we must return to our founding principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and strong national defense.” To that end, SarahPAC is devoted to supporting “fresh ideas and candidates who share our vision for reform and innovation.”
This week, we learned that her PAC has raised $1.3 million dollars. According FEC filings highlighted by the National Journal’s Hotline, Palin’s PAC spent more money on her Going Rogue book than on conservative candidates. She spent almost $48,000 buying books from Harper Collins to give to donors (hoping they will give to her), and $43,000 on conservative candidates seeking federal office. So much for supporting candidates.
This certainly places her in the rogue category, but I’m not sure that’s exactly where she wants to be. I find it interesting that she insists on being rogue, since I’m not sure she really knows what that means. Suffice it to say I wouldn’t want to be labeled rogue if I wanted to be President of the United States.
The dictionary reveals several meanings for rogue. Few of them are flattering. For example: a rogue is an unprincipled person; a scoundrel. Rogue also refers to being mischievous and a rogue’s gallery is a “collection of pictures of criminals maintained in police files used for making identification.”
For a Republican, rogue is especially unbecoming, because it references a “lone, violently aggressive wild elephant, separated from the rest of the herd.” Read on.
One writer who spends time in Africa describes it this way: “But occasionally one of (the elephants) will go rogue. Some social gene in their brain fails to kick in and they run amok, creating havoc…Left to their own devices, they'll destroy things and corrupt their peers.” Indeed.
So, for Sarah Palin, who as a governor was charged with unprincipled behavior, tax evasion, and corruption, to declare herself a rogue seems self-defeating. In a sense, she is acknowledging the truth of the term. She is someone who plays loose with the law and who “separates” herself from her peers and social group.
Let’s just accept Sarah Palin’s self-assessment at face value. She wants us to know she is an unprincipled person who is a scoundrel. And remember that behind every rogue is its alienated, rampaging herd.