Palin “Going Rogue”

When I read the headline that Sarah Palin was “going rogue,” I thought the quote was meant in admiration.

It turns out the story is wholly negative, and “going rogue” is a bad thing.

That is not what my sister Linda told me when she gave me the moniker the “rogue economist.” She told me being a rogue is a good thing, and I believed her; just like when I was five and she convinced me that, since a penny is bigger in size than a dime, it is worth more. I happily traded all my dimes for all her pennies, cutting my net worth at the time roughly in half.

Even if being a rogue economist isn’t much, I suppose it is still better than being a rouge economist.


Lollie Dot Com

Remember in the book when you said our votes don't count? I agree with everything you said in that book except for that part. That part didn't make any sense to me. Look at these lines of people, standing in like 3, 4 even 5 hours waiting to vote and not even getting grouchy about it. I'd say that's partly because we came so close to winning the last two times, but in each case, there were just a few too many people who believed their vote wouldn't matter. Not this time.

After Bush/Cheney have used the constitution for toilet paper for eight years, the idea of having someone in office who after sixty days of intensive training still doesn't understand the constitution.... it's moving a whole country to ignore your certainty that one vote doesn't really matter. Least that's the way it appears to me.

Princess Leia

Have a maveriffic day!


oh but she is, versace, chanel, tiffany...

and as for calf; maybe a little lost lamb is more apt!


seriously, what is a maverick? I have a fiend who's last name is Averick. We usually call him Mr Averick, but when we get lazy it's maverick. (He supports Obama).

But, all jokes aside, what does being a maverick mean? or is it something that one has to stratagize to understand?


And while we're on the subject,

Wikipeida thinks the answer is:

A maverick is an unbranded range animal, especially a motherless calf. It can also mean a person who thinks independently, a lone dissenter, a non-conformist or rebel.

Palin is an unbranded calf. Thats kinda funny.


Shawn (#19) -- I think he had more than just dimes in his portfolio.

I am sure I'm not the only person who doesn't want a rogue or a maverick in the Oval Office with their hand on the nuclear button.


Since the liberal descendents of Samuel Augustus Maverick were unhappy with the Republican candidates using the term "maverick", I thought being "rogue" was a nice compromise.

(Not that those descendents should have any voice in the matter ... the word has long been genericized as just another oddly derived word in the American/English language.)

But actually, I think if anyone should appreciate not "staying with the herd", it would be McCain. Sounds like some of the political handlers are already making excuses.


And you thought she was joking when she said she was a maverick.


"Is “going rogue” anything like “being a maverick”?

I dunno -- is being a "redneck" the same as being a "bitter clinger"?

Jim L

I don't know exactly what "rouge" means in the USA but here in Canada the Liberal party was always referred to as the "rouge" (French for red). So maybe some people think that Sarah is getting liberal in her thinking (like maybe she's a closet Dem). Seems like that's as bad as it gets for a Rep.


Isn't 'going rogue' the same as 'going off message' or 'going off the reservation' or whatever they call it when someone says something that is in disagreement with the guy in charge.


I walked in to work today and everybody wanted to talk about "rogue" Palin (I am only American in my office), and I thought it was a compliment.

But then I was also fooled by an older sibling, at about the same age as you were, into trading 2 Francs for 20 centimes, as 20 is so much more than 2.


It's important to distinguish the noun and adjective forms of "rogue."

Rogue as a noun means an unprincipled person, or a mischievous person. The corresponding adjective is "roguish."

Rogue as an adjective refers to the behavior of an elephant isolated from the herd: erratic, uncontrollable, and destructive. Hence members of the Axis of Evil are called "rogue states." General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove would qualify as a "rogue general." Sarah Palin is apparently now "going rogue." (What's the difference between a hockey mom and a rogue elephant? Lipstick and a foreign policy.)

I think Levitt thought "rogue economist" referred to a mischievous academic. A "rogue economist" technically means an economist whose work is unpredictable and somehow destructive--nothing playful about that. Levitt might be considered a "rogue economist" inasmuch as he has undermined structural economic analysis, but I believe in context the correct phrase is "roguish economist".

Or perhaps "The Rogue of Economics." I like that one better.


W Brown

I guess interpretive reading is in the eye/brain/cognitive processes of the reader.

I agree that the CNN article reported bad information about the McCain campaign but I do not agree that it was necessarily a negative story on being a rogue.

Whether Governor Palin's reported roguishness is a bad thing depends upon whether one believes that being more true to one's self is a bad thing. That motivation is to what I attributed her going "off script."

A separate issue is whether Governor Palin's true self is the one we want sitting a heart-beat away from the Presidency. In making that judgment, I prefer politicians who behave in public like they really are.


Wouldn't you be cutting your net worth by 9/10, not 1/2?

Bobby G

"Even if being a rogue economist isn’t much, I suppose it is still better than being a rouge economist."

Is it, Steven? Is it really?


It comes down to how you value the team/group/concensus.

If groupthink is a big problem, going rogue is could be good.

If teamwork is essential, going rogue is likley bad.

I would think that in more community/group oriented cultures, going rogue is more likely to be bad. In individual-focused cultures -- like the United States -- there's more acceptance of being a rogue.

When applied to politics, I think that it is more complicated. On the one hand, the GOP/political right talks a lot of about the individual and speaks against the state. On the other, they also talk about patriotism and loyalty.

So, being a maverick is good. A team of mavericks is good. But going rogue from that maverick is bad?

Perhaps it is all just empty rhetoric.



@Jon: I read rouge, until I hit the part about it being bad! (No illustration in RSS and post was clipped.)

Too bad the campaign is over: The Rouge Rogue!


Going rouge? As in Khmeres Rouges?

(How many Francophile Indochinese history buffs read this blog?)


"Rogue" is a word which, curiously, can go both ways. It can have a negative connotation (e.g. "a rogue agent" in a gov't agency), or a positive one (e.g. "he's a loveable rogue"). It really depends on the context.

The chance, however much it may be, of "rogue" being interpreted negatively made me wonder why a car company came out with a model called "Rogue." Even if (say) 90% of people take the name in a positive way, why would auto marketers use a term that might immediately turn off 10% of potential buyers?