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Palin and History

At the onset of her bus tour, Sarah Palin informed it us about connecting with history (via Fox News):

“This isn’t a campaign bus, this is a bus to be able to express to America how much we appreciate our foundation,” Palin said after heading toward the bus carrying her family to famous historical sites on their summer vacation.

Well, she has been touring about appreciating the founding and has had some interesting things to say about the Statue of Liberty and Paul Revere.

On the Statue of Liberty:

“Lady Liberty is the symbol of unity and friendship we have with other freedom-loving nations. It’s also a “warning” of sorts, as France encouraged us to keep democracy alive as the recipient of this gift… basically telling us not to blow it. Thank you for this reminder, France!” she wrote on her SarahPAC.com website.

To augment that quote, last year on that subject she said the following (via the Anchorage Daily News):*

“This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies,” Palin said to cheers from the crowd.

And now, as James Joyner noted this morning, the ride of Paul Revere:

“He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”

The first thing that strikes me about all of these accounts is their general level of inaccuracy.

The second thing that strikes me is that they all hold a similar theme:  warning.  And, more specifically, using versions of stories about US history to bring forth warnings (losing democracy, capitalism, or guns)  that are clearly meant to stir contemporary concerns.

This strikes me as a fairly typical deployment of American history, legends, and symbols by American politicians, which is an attempt to validate contemporary political actions by appeals to America’s past.  This tactic tends to deploy the past like holy writ (i.e., as some type of inerrant text that holds Truth) and that can sanctify political pronouncements in the now.  Never mind that these deployments may be more legend than fact or that that are being used in manner heavily influenced by contemporary views and politics.

Take Palin’s assertion about Revere.  She clearly makes the narrative of the midnight ride somehow parallel to contemporary fears in some quarters about government seizure of guns.**  It also fits the narrative subscribed to by some (see:  Sharron Angle, for example) who think that gun rights are directly linked to the right to rebel.

In regards to the Statue of Liberty, the notion that it was a warning of some kind is odd concept.  But, of course, in contemporary politics there is a substantial strain within the GOP that does like to warn that we face socialism (heck, Mitt Romney said as much yesterday) and there has been an sustained attack that the current occupant of the White House is not sufficient American.

A key question, ultimately, is to what degree does Palin actually have this simplistic view of history and how much of this is conscious political manipulation of these legends.  I honestly vacillate to some degree on this count, but eventually come down to the former because she has not demonstrated much intellectual depth or academic knowledge.  The only reason I entertain the latter is because it is difficult for me to believe that anyone could actually believe this stuff and because she has demonstrated PR acumen, making me at least think it is possible this is deliberate public manipulation.***

My best guess is that she believes the narrative that she is spinning, i.e., that her shallow interpretations of historical events (or the legendary versions thereof) confirm and reinforce her current views of US politics.

In reminds me of the commercials from GOP primary candidate (AL02) Rick Barber, especially the one that featured Barber talking to George Washington and friends (video at link).

AS Dave Weigel wrote at the time:

He appeals to Washington as the owner of a distillery who “knows how tough it is to run a small business without a tyrannical government on your back.” But President Washington presided over, and approved, the first tax levied by the federal government — the 1791 whiskey tax. When the tax met resistance, he approved the assembling of militias to enforce the law and mobilization of agents to collect the revenue. So the Barber daydream of Washington angrily ordering a “gathering of armies” to oppose a tax is… well, entertaining, I guess.

Further, the whole Tea Party label is predicated on this type of misappropriate of history (and, really, the misappropriation not of history, but of legend).  On the legend point, the dumping of the tea in the harbor was not contemporaneously called the “Boston Tea Party,” but rather acquired the name in the 19th Century and it was not the catalyst for the Revolution that many think that it was.

In terms of the history, my favorite part is this (from historian Ray Raphael at History.net):

The immediate catalyst was a tax break—not a tax increase—that effectively made imported tea more affordable for colonists. What irked the patriots was that they had no role in the decision.

[...]

In the Tea Act of 1773, Parliament left the American import duties in place but decreed that the East India Company would no longer have to pay any duties on tea landing in Britain and headed to America, nor would it have to sell the tea at British public auctions. It could deliver its product straight to American consumers, untouched by middlemen and almost untaxed, save for a modest American import duty. The only people who stood to incur financial losses from the arrangement were American smugglers who had been peddling duty-free tea from Holland.

[...]

For the Americans, the fundamental issue was one of self-governance. Whoever levied taxes got to call the shots, including how to spend the money. Parliament insisted on taxing colonists to support—and command—colonial administration. Colonists countered that they were more than willing to tax—and rule—themselves. No more “taxation without representation” became their rallying cry, not “down with high taxes.”

And yet, the Tea Party version of the narrative is that it was about the onerous burden of taxes at the time leading to a rebellious response.

Now, I will say that misusing historical examples does not make someone wrong (nor is it anything new).  If, in fact, we were facing the destruction of our democracy, then it really won’t matter if Lady Liberty’s purpose was there to warn us or not.

The real problem here is that we aren’t heading towards socialism, our democracy is not threatened, and no one is coming to take away the guns.  As such, the thing that really ought to get people’s attention is not the misappropriation/misinterpretation (or even straight-up ignorance) of history by Palin, it is that her underlying message is utterly flawed.

I will conclude with this:  one ought to be wary of people who display ignorance of history, because it does call into question their intellectual prowess and honesty (especially if they are consistently wrong).  Also, as much as American history is worthy of study, the citation of the past does not validate, or nullify, the present.

____

*The quotes comes from a rally held alongside Glenn Beck. If she is getting her history from Beck, that explains a lot.

**And there are still people who think that Obama (or any Democratic president) is secretly plotting to take away guns.  A story I have recounted before:  during the ’08 campaign I had a student very sincerely ask me if it was true that Obama would take away all our guns if he was elected (and this was a pretty good student).  Apparently the student’s father was convinced this was the case and it eventually became clear that the source of the concern was from columns in the NRA’s magazine.

***For my geek friends in the audience, there is a third possibility:  she is a Cylon and she adheres to the belief that “all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again” and simply sees the pattern.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. jwest says:

    So I take it early American history wasn’t part of the political science doctorate program either.

    Palin is right that people need to reconnect with the history of this country. Perhaps she should make some stops on her tour to a few of our universities.

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  2. Where, exactly, is Steven wrong jwest?

    Please provide source material to support any factual assertions you make.

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  3. @jwest,

    Shockingly, your comment is a non sequitur.

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  4. CB says:

    And, more specifically, using versions of stories about US history to bring forth warnings (losing democracy, capitalism, or guns) that are clearly meant to stir contemporary concerns.

    nail on head. even if there are tiny kernels of truth in some of these statements, it is the attempt to manipulate history in order to toss the base some red meat that i just cannot take seriously.

    i mean, she tries to tie the statue of liberty to american exceptionalism, a concept that didnt really exist until the last half of the 20th century? really?

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  5. jwest says:
  6. anjin-san says:

    “This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies,”

    WTF??

    I am really in need of a much larger font to work with here. This whopper deserves serious recognition.

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  7. Ryan spires says:

    Oh palin. I suppose crispus attucks was pro slavery, thats why he decided to die in the boston massacre.

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  8. jwest says:

    Moderate this gem of a quote:

    “…one ought to be wary of people who display ignorance of history, because it does call into question their intellectual prowess and honesty (especially if they are consistently wrong). “

    How very, very true.

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  9. @jwest:

    Indeed. Kind of like how wrong you were about Alinsky.

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  10. Mr. Prosser says:

    I agree she is trying to weld contemporary uber-right concerns to popular legend. The problem for her is not only is the weld a poor one but she is so bad at extemporaneous interviews. I know many are hoping the media will quit following her but the more on-scene interviews she gives and screws up, the more viewers will see what a leader of the booboisie really sounds like.

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  11. jwest says:

    Steven,

    “The first thing that strikes me about all of these accounts is their general level of inaccuracy.”

    In light of the comments I referenced, along with the supporting material those comments referenced, would you like to begin by explaining the “level of inaccuracy” concerning Paul Revere’s ride?

    Fill the internet with your historical knowledge.

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  12. @jwest:

    1) You didn’t actually reference anything, but made a few comments the points of which were rather unclear.

    2) In regards to Paul Revere’s ride, he did not* ring bells and fire warning shots. Further, the concern was not that the British were coming to take the guns away.

    This really isn’t especially complicated.

    *correction: left out the rather important “not” on the original posting.

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  13. TG Chicago says:

    @jwest

    Palin is right that people need to reconnect with the history of this country. Perhaps she should make some stops on her tour to a few of our universities.

    Good point. She might learn something. Tell her to bring Herman Cain with her.

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  14. mantis says:

    Kind of like how wrong you were about Alinsky.

    And most everything else…

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  15. Franklin says:

    jwest, still waiting for some evidence

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  16. mantis says:

    In light of the comments I referenced, along with the supporting material those comments referenced

    Was this all in your imagination?

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  17. Ben says:

    So jwest, Revere’s goal that night was the warn the British? Makes me wonder why he spent the whole night evading them until he was caught in Lincoln.

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  18. Dave Schuler says:

    Now there’s a stirring image. Sort of a female Bluto Blutarsky.

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  19. TG Chicago says:

    From wiki:

    The origin of the Statue of Liberty project is generally traced to a comment made by French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye in mid-1865. In after-dinner conversation at his home near Versailles, Laboulaye, an ardent supporter of the Union in the American Civil War, stated, “If a monument should rise in the United States, as a memorial to their independence, I should think it only natural if it were built by united effort—a common work of both our nations.”

    So the Statue of Liberty was explicitly conceived with the idea that it would symbolize a commonality between the French and American nations. It’s not about America being unique and exceptional; it’s about the shared ideals.

    One could make an argument that it’s about democracy being a unique and exceptional method of governance, but it’s not about “USA = #1!”.

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  20. CB says:

    these boards need a new brand of conservative troll. jwest is getting boring.

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  21. jwest says:

    Steven made a claim that Palin’s recounting of Paul Revere’s ride was not accurate. Knowing that she’s right, I called bullshit on him, and through association, James and Doug too.

    What are they going to do now? Claim that the British march on Concord may have been to confiscate arms, but they weren’t going from house to house seizing each individual gun?

    When Revere sounded the alert of the troop movement triggering gunshots, bells and drums to be used to alert the townspeople, will Steven now argue that since Revere didn’t personally shoot each shot, ring each bell and beat each drum, Palin was wrong?

    The level of parsing needed to cover up the wrong, knee-jerk reaction that Palin had misstated historical fact is pathetic that it’s embarrassing to witness. Why not man up, collectively admit you took a snarking, eye-rolling, historically inaccurate account from an airhead CNN reporter and jumped in with both feet on the “get Sarah Palin” bandwagon.

    She’s right, admit it.

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  22. JKB says:

    The real problem here is that we aren’t heading towards socialism, our democracy is not threatened, and no one is coming to take away the guns.

    Now that is hilarious. True in specifics but false in outcome. It is true, there is no nationalization of industry. Mainly because that’s been tried, failed and left a very bad taste. But we do have the government mandating what you shall buy (although currently their platform is if you don’t want to buy healthcare you can just not make any money), brining suit against businesses that freely choose to open production facilities in a state not aligned with unions, etc. But that’s not Socialism with a capital S. That’s technocracy, government run by and for the benefit of the bureaucrats. I’ll tread lightly here, I remember how near and dear the bureaucrats are to Steven.

    So really what we have is government-strangled enterprise instead of government owned enterprise. People thought a bit of government-guided enterprise was a good thing. That it would smooth out the excesses, but as happens when there aren’t checks, they kept squeezing and squeezing till we see now, crony corporations and struggling capitalists. But all who answer to a plethora of bureaucrats, who make up the rules as they go along. Technically, bureaucrats, especially government ones, can’t do anything without permission. But in government, Congress and the legislatures have sold out their responsibility transferring near free rein to the bureaucrats while the People can, well if the bureaucrats get their way, exhale CO2 without permission, much less operate a business or travel or educate their own children or….

    “democracy is not threatened” that is why we see lots of evidence of fraudulent voting, efforts to constrain the ability to limit voting to citizens and oddly little effort to ensure that military members are not disenfranchised by incompetent (or perhaps corrupt) late issuance of absentee ballots.

    “not coming to take your guns” well, true in that that avenue has been cut off, for now, by SCOTUS. But if you watch the efforts of the BATFE and other agencies, you see they are ready, willing and eager to use bureaucratic regulation to limit, constrain and delay gun rights. It is not overt because the Dems know, that gun control is an issue that will get you killed on election day.

    So make fun of how Palin weaves a theme from history. It doesn’t matter, as those she’s speaking to, hear the theme without getting hung up on the details.

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  23. Ben says:

    jwest – she was completely 180 degrees wrong. She said that Revere warned the British.

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  24. Muffler says:

    The problem with Palin and many Republicans is they try to take actions committed in the past and subscribe them to a legend. The actually legend of Paul Revere is due to the poem written by Longfellow over 40 years after the fact. The truth is plainer and more human then the legend and actually more interesting. The problem is that these people try to make some how holy and in a funny way avoid the idea that to do these things they mention one needed to be competent, educated and brave.

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  25. Steve Verdon says:

    Oh God…not you too Steven….please…please no more Palin posts for the weekend at least. :p

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  26. Muffler says:

    Jwest:

    The problem with Palin is that she has the general idea of the legend, but the facts she presents are inaccurate or entirely wrong as they relate to the actual events. The ride was to warn Adams and Hancock in Lexington. They were subject to arrest. The arms stored in Concord were also vulnerable, but many of the “minutemen” we self armed and the British were not raiding homes to confiscate their hunting rifles (at this point in history – arms didn’t have 10 round clips and people actually hunted to live).

    The underlying causes as to why the British sent troops was far more specific and telling the factual story over the myth serves a greater justice to educating our youth about liberty and freedom. The underlying lead up and history teaches what liberty and freedom are about and not just tag lines. It also sets the ground for the entire war, declaration of independence (which is not a declaration of freedom) and then ultimately to the foundations of the Constitution.

    So I would say that Palin is using history as a tag line and propagating the legends. The legends teach nothing about liberty and freedom. They teach Longfellow.

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  27. CB says:

    So I would say that Palin is using history as a tag line and propagating the legends.

    game, set, match

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  28. ponce says:

    Like most poor American youth, Palin would be shunned by her peers if she put any effort into personal education.

    Prideful ignorance is the membership dues of the American fringe right.

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  29. @jwest:

    Linking to comments made by co-partisans does not an argument make.

    @Muffler,

    The legends teach nothing about liberty and freedom. They teach Longfellow

    Indeed.

    In fact, Dave Shuler, in another thread, pointed to the following, which is Revere’s own account: click.

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  30. hey norm says:

    look – the entirety of the current conservative project is based on fallacies. tax cuts pay for themselves. supply side economics. climate change science is faked. evolution is a hoax. creationism is real science. humans walked the earth with dinosaurs. the ryan plan saves medicare. death panels. obama increased the debt more than all previous presidents combined. oh yeah…and he’s a socialist.
    so why in the world would you expect palin’s narration be any different?

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  31. Wiley Stoner says:

    If the liberals here, wise in all of their thinking, would apply the same standards to the current office holder that they apply to Palin, we would not have this poser as President. Jwest is right and the rest of you remind me of J. Wright. You know, Obama’s preacher. Get used to it Stephen, or Step for short, if Palin runs she wins. You dolts are on the wrong side of history. Obama has gotten us to a 9.1% unemployment. What I want is 4 more years of that. Mark Levin thinks you all are wrong. The call him the great one. They don’t call you at all.

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  32. @Wiley:

    Get used to it Stephen, or Step for short,

    I find it amusing that in a rant about how wrong I am, you can’t even get the most simple of facts straight…

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  33. ponce says:

    if Palin runs she wins

    Even though 70% of Americans would definitely not vote for Palin for President?

    Math is not a strong subject for the fringe right.

    But then, what is?

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  34. Wiley Stoner says:

    Hey Norm, I didn’t real all of the leaked emails from East Anglia, but the ones I read would indicate the data was wrong. Something about a hockey stick which never really happened. Seems it was warmer during the Medieval warm period than it is today. Note farming in Greenland. Seems you are as accurate as Palin, or maybe less so when it comes to historical facts.

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  35. Wiley Stoner says:

    Was that poll taken by the DNC? I believe it is true, 70% of donks will not vote for Palin, but 90 % of the GOP will vote against Obama and 30 % of donks will vote for Palin. Palin by a landslide. Mark my words.

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  36. Wiley Stoner says:

    I rant and you just BS. Now I’ve got it. Thanks Step! Have you applied to blog at Move on or the Daily Kos yet? They could use a fact fanatic like yourself.

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  37. PJ says:

    Wiley, I’m guessing you’re basing your view on “climategate” on a few emails, or in reality, just a few sentences, and you’re basing your view on Obama’s preacher on a few minutes of video?

    I think I see a pattern.

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  38. michael reynolds says:

    I recall a very different — and I believe, more accurate — version of Paul Revere.

    Revere was a childlike individual with a sense of gleeful malice. He was also quite the harp player. And what many don’t know is that we was entirely mute.

    He set off to raise the countryside against the British using a horn which he blew from time to time. However he was then distracted by a lovely blond and entered her home. Unfortunately, her husband, a somewhat choleric street vendor who had earlier had his stand set afire by Revere, came home unexpectedly.

    Revere hid and the vendor’s wife drew him a bath. Unfortunately Revere had chosen to hide in the bath and as the vendor sat upon him, Revere emerged from the water and fled.

    Later Revere was enticed by a second woman, a brunette, and he entered her home astride his horse. Revere, the woman, and the horse shared a bed.

    I think this is probably the most complete and accurate account of the famous ride.

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  39. Rob in CT says:

    Pathetic. But seriously, who is surprised at this point? It’s been obvious from the beginning that she doesn’t care about facts. She’s selling a narrative (and selling it well, raking in the $$$). A narrative based on raw emotion. The target audience has a grasp of history that is as weak as hers, so she can say pretty much whatever she wants and it works for her.

    Red Meat, it’s what’s for dinner.

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  40. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Palin is not the sharpest tool in the shed and certainly there is a strain of faux populism on the fringes of the evangelical right, of which Palin definitely is a member.

    That said, the left’s obsession with all things Palin nearly is as bizarre as Palin’s tortured grasp of American history. A forensic psychiatrist would have a much better grasp on the specific etiology, but if I had to take a guess it’s a combination of vagina envy, anti-Christianity, Republican Derangement Syndrome, chauvinism, misogyny and . . . . honestly, something else of which I’m not quite certain. There’s something about Palin besides the obvious factors that causes OCD and DSM-specified projection on the part of leftists, especially those in the media and academia.

    In any event, ironically enough, the left should be rooting day and night for Palin to run. Leftists should embrace Palin the same way they embrace their own reflections. Dare I say it but leftists should pray for a Palin run. For the simple reasons that Palin is the worst national general election, major candidate in memory and Palin’s candidacy by itself would all but guarantee Obama’s reelection. Twisted sybiosis, defined.

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  41. Wayne says:

    TGC took one comment that may have sparked the idea and concluded with all certainly the motivation of everyone involved in bearing that idea to fruit. Talking about a simplistic view of history. Read a little more about the Statue of Liberty and you will find out that “one” of many reasons it was given to U.S. was because there was so few Democracies at the time. So yes the U.S. was one of a few unique nations at the time.

    Palin didn’t say it symbolize the U.S. = #1 but that it was unique for being a democracy. Wouldn’t a reasonable person conclude that France at that time period was giving us that gift to encourage us to keep Democracy alive?

    Then again he is not the only one that has a simplistic view of history in these posts. Many have bashed Palin for having a simplistic view of history yet they do it themselves. Things like “well Washington was for one tax so he would have been for any tax and at any level”. Simplistic thinking at its worst.

    Then again this is just another hit peace on Palin.

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  42. ponce says:

    That said, the left’s obsession with all things Palin nearly is as bizarre as Palin’s tortured grasp of American history.

    It might help Palin’s cult members to see her as the rest of America sees her: She is the only funny right wing comedian working today.

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  43. Rob in CT says:

    The “obsession” is because she’s potentially a serious contender for the GOP Presidential nomination, Nick. None of your armchair psychoanalysis is necessary, when the obvious answer is right in front of you: she’s a big deal within one of the two major American political parties.

    If she truely was just a “fringe” figure, an obsession with her would be odd. But, sadly, she’s not. Fringe is the new mainstream for the GOP.

    As for your belief that Palin winning the GOP nomination = Obama is guaranteed reelection, I don’t believe it’s so safe (and yes, reflects a pessimistic view of our electoral system and our voting population). Therefore, I will not root for Palin to be the nominee. She might actually win. It’s unlikely, perhaps, but by no means impossible. Even a tiny chance of POTUS Palin is unacceptable to me.

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  44. CB says:

    wiley, et al:

    most of us commentators here , left right and center, are guilty of being blinkered, maybe a bit condescending at times, and, well, thinking we are smarter than we actually are. lord knows im guilty of that, alot. but at the very least, most everyone on here argues in good faith, with at least a slight grasp of reason and reality.

    but all i ever see you guys do in response is come out with nonsense polemics. it would be funny if it werent so frustrating and sad. do you guys ever get tired of the same old BS hyperbole? its like a freakin madlibs

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  45. hey norm says:

    wiley…
    nothing you said has any bearing on what i said. the most pertinent thing was about the data – which has been so thouroughly debunked you should be embarrassed to even bring it up.
    do you use a glass bong? a one-hitter? or do you roll joints?

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  46. anjin-san says:

    I am a little surprised that Palin did not.mention that Revere was singing a rocking tune called “Kicks” as he rode through the night…

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  47. michael reynolds says:

    Anjin:

    I think it’s because she still ain’t feelin’ right.

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  48. Rock says:

    The Mysterious Ride of Sarah Palin

    Listen my children and you shall hear
    A tale of woe, loathing and fear.
    The Left goes crazy, as they must
    When Sarah Palin boards a bus.

    They scratch their asses and their heads
    Filled with fear, loathing and dread.
    As they anticipate her next move
    Where out of the night she might appear.

    But she leads them far and leads them near
    Shouting the alarm for all to hear.
    And like bloodhounds they bay and howl
    Tracking their quarry to the ground.

    They circle around and beg for clues
    For what it is she just might do.
    She smiles and waves and hurries on
    Leaving behind a bone to chew.

    The bloodhounds bay and oh they howl
    As they snip and snipe and gnaw the bone.
    Devoid of meat they scramble anew
    To catch Sarah Palin who just left town.

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  49. michael reynolds says:

    I love that the Palinites are so stupid they don’t even realize the Left is rejoicing while Romney — a potential real-world candidate — just had his campaign roll-out blown up by this ninny.

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  50. Ruby says:

    “The Mysterious Ride of Sarah Palin” Yes, mysterious as in, no one ever knows what the hell she is talking about or how she manages to stand up and speak with the tiny little brain she has.

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  51. anjin-san says:

    Sarah, oh Sarah
    when will you go home?
    Wasilla is lonely
    I suspect so is Nome.

    You’ve traveled so far
    Seeking fortune, seeking fame
    And a leader you are
    Not in fact, but in name.

    Now the tundra is empty
    Borealis burns blue
    Are they good dreams or bad
    The far north dreams of you?

    Rock – did you miss school when they were teaching that poetry should be meaningful, clever, and hopefully rhyme?

    Palin butchers history, and you are lending a hand by butchering writing…

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  52. Eric says:

    Lurker Eric, here.

    Michael, Anjin, et al. How do you guys do it? How do you find the energy to respond to The Lone Gunmen? Seriously, crazy has a mania that I just can’t keep up with.

    In any event, TLG really have dragged down the level of commenting since they first appeared. I long for the days of Bithead. At least he was merely stubborn; TLG are willfully blind.

    Anyway, I salute you and, as always, I lurk. MWAHAHAHAHAH (cough) MWAHAH (cough)… (cough)… damn, gotta quit smoking.

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  53. Eric Florack says:

    Built by Frenchman, Frederick Auguste Bartholdi, the “Liberty Enlightening the World” was gifted by the French to the Americans to commemorate 100 years of American independence and also as a gift of friendship.

    Gee. I dunno. Sounds to me like Bartholdi thought of America as being exceptional, in every sense of the word, and precisely for the reason that America was about Liberty instead of government control. Liberty, and all of that, you know. I recognize liberty is a hard concept for leftists to follow….

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  54. mantis says:

    I recognize liberty is a hard concept for leftists to follow….

    Well, we recognize that reality is a little too uncomfortable for you to accept. Enjoy your fantasy world.

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  55. Eric Florack says:

    As to the remainder of your comments, allow me to blanketley (is that a word?) respond by cross posting what I said at my own place a few days ago….

    Over at American Thinker Steve Flesher notes:

    Palin-flamethrower, Geoffrey Dunn of the Huffington Post released The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power May 10th and Frank Bailey, former Aide to Palin, teamed up with Palin-critic Jeanne Devon to release Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years on May 24th. Ardent opponents of Sarah Palin have been highly-anticipating these books which promised to tear down Palin’s public image for the long-term.
    Interestingly, Geoffrey Dunn’s book has not even hit Amazon’s top-100 list since its release; and after a week of media coverage including appearances on NBC, ABC’s The View, Fox News, CNN, and many more, Frank Bailey’s “memoir” disappointingly debuted at #40 and has already fallen to #75.

    There’s a reason they’re not selling. Americans have come to recognize a politically driven hit piece when they see it.

    If Palin is so very unpopular as the left and the press keep telling us, why all the attack books coming out? Why all the effort to bring down someone who they keep telling us couldn’t possibly win? Bottom line; They’re scared to death the woman is going to run. They’re trying to make sure we end up with an establishment Republican milquetoast centrist like McCain, who can be easily defeated in the general election.

    Look, I’m not convinced Palin is the best we’ve got to run, but as Steve notes, the Anti-Palin morons have just about shot their wad… there’s no more dirt left to uncover… the woman is fully vetted, they’ve already gotten about as vulgar as they can get in trying to bring her down… and they failed. There’s little question that with no more mud to be slung at her, she is among the most potent of anti-Obama candidates. Certainly, a far more powerful choice than any of the establishment Republicans.

    And that scares the bleeding hell out of the left and the establishment Republicans.
    I consider them being that deranged a good thing.

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  56. CB says:

    well done. keep the gems coming, mr florack.

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  57. mantis says:

    the woman is fully vetted

    Yes she has, and the levels of approval among the public show it.

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  58. michael reynolds says:

    Lurker Eric:

    Michael, Anjin, et al. How do you guys do it?

    I can’t speak for Anjin but for me this is where I go to avoid actual work. Some guys might sit at their desk and shoot Nerf hoops. Me, I take shots at morons. I can’t really defend it. As someone said the other day, it’s pygmy-baiting. There may even be an element of sadism to it, but at least I’m not a dunk like most of authors.*

    * Cheap shot at other authors.

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  59. ponce says:

    Interestingly, Geoffrey Dunn’s book has not even hit Amazon’s top-100 list since its release; and after a week of media coverage including appearances on NBC, ABC’s The View, Fox News, CNN, and many more, Frank Bailey’s “memoir” disappointingly debuted at #40 and has already fallen to #75..

    Meanwhile, Palin’s latest masterpiece is #13,254 on Amazon.

    Why does every fringe right defense of Palin just make her look even more ridiculous?

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  60. Wiley Stoner says:

    Hey Norm, I stopped that behavior years ago. You? While all this distraction about Palin is going on, real news is being made by this Administration. Seems they would like to curtail the production of coal. Here is a quick list of the costs if they are sucessful. A loss of 30 to 70 gigawatts of electricity nationwide, potential elimiation of 2.5 million jobs, energy investment loss of 300 billion dollars, $500 billion loss to GDP. I guess you people here have some solution like wind mills or some such nonsense. Obama is attacking America at her core and none of you recognize it. It is much better to pay attention to what Palin is doing. You had better hope you lose the election for if not you will surely lose the following civil war.

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  61. michael reynolds says:

    Wiley:

    You had better hope you lose the election for if not you will surely lose the following civil war.

    JP:

    How dare you suggest that Palin fans make her look ridiculous. Are you trying to ignite that civil war? Is that it?

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  62. Rock says:

    Are you trying to ignite that civil war? Is that it?

    Sad to say, that might happen soon enough.With the left and media pushing their agendas it will be more like massive civil unrest. Sigh!

    Just kidding! Utopia will reign for a thousand years.

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  63. Anon says:

    When you folks on the left and wherever are done slapping each other on the back…reminds me when everyone jumped on her Boston Tea Party comment
    via:
    http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2011/06/so-now-all-these-people-will-apologize.html

    n fact, as pointed out at Conservatives4Palin, Revere did in fact tell the British that the colonial militias, who had been alerted, were waiting for them. Here is the original historical text written by Revere (spelling in original, bold added):

    I observed a Wood at a Small distance, & made for that. When I got there, out Started Six officers, on Horse back,and orderd me to dismount;-one of them, who appeared to have the command, examined me, where I came from,& what my Name Was? I told him. it was Revere, he asked if it was Paul? I told him yes He asked me if I was an express? I answered in the afirmative. He demanded what time I left Boston? I told him; and aded, that their troops had catched aground in passing the River, and that There would be five hundred Americans there in a short time, for I had alarmed the Country all the way up. He imediately rode towards those who stoppd us, when all five of them came down upon a full gallop; one of them, whom I afterwards found to be Major Mitchel, of the 5th Regiment, Clapped his pistol to my head, called me by name, & told me he was going to ask me some questions, & if I did not give him true answers, he would blow my brains out. He then asked me similar questions to those above. He then orderd me to mount my Horse, after searching me for arms

    Palin’s short statement on the video was less than clear; that sometimes happens but the part of the statement which has people screaming — that Revere warned the British that the colonial militias were waiting — appears to be true.

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  64. ponce says:

    Revere did in fact tell the British that the colonial militias, who had been alerted, were waiting for them.

    With bells?

    He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells

    I always assumed the British spoke English.

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  65. TG Chicago says:

    As I said in another thread, listen to her word salad:

    He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.

    Clearly that quote you found does not exonerate her.

    Why is it so hard to just admit she made a tiny verbal slip? It’s really not a big deal. Everybody does it (yes, “57 states”). Just admit it and move on.

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  66. Wiley Stoner says:

    Seems after all the lefty BS and hyper reaction to Palin, the quote seems to be accurate. She probably knows more about American history than any one who comments here. I’ll bet she is partying like it is 1773.

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  67. Wiley Stoner says:

    Who’s side you on Reynold? The Americans or the socialist? Let me guess.

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  68. Gulliver says:

    Palin was and is correct about her historical facts. The most recent statement about Paul Revere is also correct, based upon his own narrative and statements.

    I love it when Palin shows the leftist hacks how ignorant they are. Like pride, intellectual snobbery always leads to a fall, particularly when folks like Taylor and the libs here are so sure of their facts they don’t bother to actually do the work needed to verify anything before they spout off and make fools of themselves.

    Sarah Palin eats the left for lunch without even trying. Again. Funny how this “uneducated” woman keeps making libs look like foolish knee-jerk reactionaries..

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  69. ponce says:

    I love it when Palin shows the leftist hacks how ignorant they are.

    I love it when some fringe right wanker shows up at the end of a thread to raise the “Mission Accomplished” banner when they think nobody will notice.

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  70. Eric Florack says:

    LOL. I think we’ve just heard pojce deliver the empty ‘oh,yeah? ‘

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  71. ponce says:

    LOL. I think we’ve just heard pojce deliver the empty ‘oh,yeah? ‘

    Haha Eric, you can only point out to the Palin panty sniffers so many times that Paul Revere didn’t ring bells to “warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms.”

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  72. jwest says:

    The American history prize goes to Chris Mathews, who, after spending the requisite amount of airtime saying how stupid Palin was for her (accurate) depiction of Revere said:

    “Bells and gunshots? Revere warned the colonists by lanterns. One if by land, two if by sea. Everyone knows that.”

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  73. TG Chicago says:

    It’s hilarious how you can point out exactly what Palin got wrong, but the Palinistas are hard-wired to be incapable of accepting even a tiny, insignificant flaw in their leader.

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  74. Eric Florack says:

    Nonsense, TG….
    It’s just that the only people who are really all that woried about those small flaws are those trying to topple her.

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  75. An Interested Party says:

    If all of this helps Palin to get into the presidential race and secure the GOP nomination, it is only good news for the president…

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  76. TG Chicago says:

    @Eric Florack

    Nonsense, TG….

    So you can show me where Palin supporters have said “Yeah, she didn’t come off very well there.”? Please do.

    It’s just that the only people who are really all that woried about those small flaws are those trying to topple her.

    No, there are clearly plenty of Palin supporters digging through every word Paul Revere ever uttered to try to justify her garbled statement. They are obviously worried. And it’s silly, since this misstatement is nothing to be worried about.

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  77. anjin-san says:

    It’s just that the only people who are really all that woried about those small flaws are those trying to topple her.

    Small flaws? Can you provide a link to anything unscripted that Palin has EVER said that did not sound like nonsense?

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  78. Ryan Spires says:

    Wow. Some of the people on this post really missed the mark. Palin is an embarrassment to any political party. She hijacked The Tea Party, and more than likely gets off on Israeli terrorism. Leftist Taylor? At what point in this article did you guys think the author was a leftist? Get off the faux news and open a book. The business press has got you guys… by the brains.

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  79. Wayne says:

    The point of the post is the Palin haters were once again caught gloating and saying how much of an idiot she is for being wrong on history when in fact she wasn’t. How embarrassing for the gloaters!!!

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  80. Scott O. says:

    If what Sarah says doesn’t match history then history must be changed

    http://www.conservapedia.com/index.php?title=Paul_Revere&action=historysubmit&diff=875982&oldid=875976

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  81. Gulliver says:

    To ponce:

    Mission Accomplished. Even historians are now saying she was correct. That good enough for you? Idiot.

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  82. Even historians are now saying she was correct.

    You have found a historian who says that Revere’s ride included him firing warning shots and ringing bells? I’d love to see that–got a link?

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  83. Wayne says:

    Here you go.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/2011_0606you_betcha_she_was_right_experts_back_palins_historical_account/

    Here is a little advice for the Palin haters, “when you are in above your head stop digging”.
    We will be waiting for all the acknowledgements that she was right and apologize. However I won’t be holding my breath waiting for liberals to do the right thing.

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  84. @Wayne:

    Actually, I linked to Revere’s own account above (which is the basis of the piece you linked).

    No bells or shots fired. And the main purpose of the ride was to warn Adams and Hancock.

    Further, the fact that Revere ended up warning the British had to do with being waylaid and forced to talk at gun point. (OF course, I never made any issue of the warning the British bit at all).

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  85. @Wayne,

    BTW, from the piece you offered as the slam dunk proof of expert-endorsement of Palin:

    “I would call her lucky in her comments,”

    -Boston University history professor Brendan McConville

    And

    Patrick Leehey of the Paul Revere House said Revere was probably bluffing his British captors, but reluctantly conceded that it could be construed as Revere warning the British.

    “I suppose you could say that,” Leehey said. “But I don’t know if that’s really what Mrs. Palin was referring to.”

    The only “expert” in the piece that unabashedly support Palin in William Jacobson, who is a law prof, but was blogging his defense of Palin not as an expert, but as a partisan defending Palin.

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  86. Wayne says:

    @Steven
    ““Boston University history professor Brendan McConville said, “Basically when Paul Revere was stopped by the British, he did say to them, ‘Look, there is a mobilization going on that you’ll be confronting,’ and the British are aware as they’re marching down the countryside, they hear church bells ringing — she was right about that — and warning shots being fired. That’s accurate.””

    You are usually the one so big on experts. Who should one believe you or an expert?
    Especially since you are only looking at one piece of evidence “Revere personal account “to support your agenda. You claim that no bells or shot were fired. Just because Revere didn’t personally do it didn’t mean it didn’t happen. The expert historian in this area claim it did. Once again who should one believe you or an expert?

    Now maybe you think she claimed that Revere did everything that night himself. That he single handedly held off the British. Clearly she did not. He was part of a group. That group did many things that night. It is about like when someone says Jordan won 6 NBA championships. Clearly he didn’t do it all by himself. That doesn’t make a person wrong for making the above statements.

    As for your statement “Revere ended up warning the British had to do with being waylaid and forced to talk at gun point”. Haven’t many claimed that torture or death threats don’t work?

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  87. TG Chicago says:

    @Wayne

    You claim that no bells or shot were fired. Just because Revere didn’t personally do it didn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    True. But Palin claimed that Revere fired the shots and rang the bells.

    “He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells…”

    If we agree that Revere didn’t ring any bells, then we agree that Palin’s statement was inaccurate.

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