Books

Sarah Palin, Children's Book Heroine

| Mon Nov. 30, 2009 11:57 AM EST

One of the unfortunate side effects of being subscribed to as many conservative email lists as I am is that you get subjected to a lot of sales pitches. Stephanie already blogged about some of the more offensive Christmas gifts conservatives are selling to each other this holiday season. But this stuff never stops. On Monday, one conservative mailing list tried to sell me a children's book called Help! Mom! Radicals are Ruining My Country!, which is about how liberals are destroying America (what else?):

In a cameo appearance, "Governor Sarah," a Palin lookalike character, attempts to help two boys with a struggling swingset business hang onto the American Dream despite high taxes, burdensome regulations and 246 czars in the recently released children’s book Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country!, by bestselling-author Katharine DeBrecht.

"I am trying to let all Americans know that these radicals are killing the American Dream and I want to stop them from hurting people that produce products and provide jobs," the Palin character consoles the frustrated boys. The book then describes an all-out media assault on the Palin figure based on false rumors which discourages the boys:

Unfortunately later that night, while the boys were still ruffling through their bills, they saw a special report on TV. The TV anchorwoman beamed "We have breaking news just in from a 37 year old man who lives in his parents’ basement that Governor Sarah’s mother is actually an alien."

The anchorwoman excitedly went on, "And from this exclusive source, we can confirm that Governor Sarah feeds her children dog food for breakfast, lunch and dinner."

The sample pages from the book aren't particularly compelling, especially since the central allegory is incredibly heavy handed. There's a place for funny conservative caricatures of liberalism. Unfortunately, Ms. DeBrecht is no Christopher Buckley . But the kids' book is interesting in how it echoes Palin's own story about herself, in which she is a victim who was unfairly smeared by a biased news media.

On a somewhat related note, historian Rick Perlstein has done a lot of work documenting how conservative mailing lists show that conservatives treat their constituents like suckers

I've been on dozens of both right-wing and left-wing mailing lists going back well over a decade. I've never, ever, ever received from the left anything remotely like the snake-oil pitches I receive from Newsmax and Human Events nearly every day.

Digby has more on this subject here.