Sarah Palin, Peggy Noonan, flag: Naming an American book

These two stalwart conservatives know the magic formula for a truly patriotic title

By Alex Pareene

Published May 12, 2010 7:30PM (EDT)

Sarah Palin has a new book on the way. The title: "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag."

Josh Green at the Atlantic points out that this sounds a lot like a book by Peggy Noonan, called "A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag: America Today."

But I don't think it's a true rip-off. Peggy, after all, is the East Coast elitist who originally called "bullshit" on the Palin phenomenon. Sarah wouldn't steal from her.

No, it's just that both of them work from the "word salad" approach to political punditry. Noonan picks the fancy words and Palin picks the simple words. But when you are crafting a title for your glorious ode to this wonderful country, there are really only a few words to choose from!

Go ahead, try to come up with your own Peggy Noonan/Sarah Palin book of platitudes. It's harder than it looks! Here's the best I could do:

  • Flags, Family, and Ball Games: Our American Dream
  • America on Top: The Story of a Family, a Flag, and a Faith
  • Our Lord, Our Flag, Our Country: This Is America
  • This American Land: The People, Their Values, Their Flag
  • A Man, a Plan, a Flag: America!
  • America: Flag God America
  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

(Oddly, John Cook finds that flags are banned from Palin's upcoming appearance at "Freedom Fest 2010" in Norfolk. Yes, flags are banned from a Sarah Palin appearance at something called "Freedom Fest 2010." In Virginia. I don't know either!)

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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