That Stupid Palin, Getting Her History Right

I guess there’s a new kerfuffle related to Sarah Palin.  This video was linked at NRO “without comment” by Andrew Stiles.  It’s more evidence that she’s some kind of historical illiterate, or something, as she supposedly claims that Paul Revere rode to warn the Brits.

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Admittedly Palin’s wording is incredibly garbled and she did not give a very articulate response.  Here’s the thing: her comments are completely accurate.  Here’s a letter written by Paul Revere himself:

“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.”

Again, though spoken in mangled English, Palin’s comments are pretty much right on the money.  Revere was in fact warning the British, but more as a way of bragging.

But hey, it’s so much easier to call Sarah Palin an idiot than bother with facts.

31 Responses to That Stupid Palin, Getting Her History Right

  • Yes, obviously that’s what Palin was talking about when she said that Paul Revere was warning the British with his “warning shots and bells.”

  • “The American Catholic is an online community of Christians,”

    Really, with the personal attacks against a fellow American you sound like a muslim group.

    This site just proves anyone can put up a website.

  • Ed, you might actually want to read the post before commenting next time.

  • Governor Palin also is so stupid that she doesn’t know that there are 57 states, that today in London it’s June 4, 2008 Greenwich Mean Time, or that ripping apart the evil, unjust private economic sector will resolve all America’s problems.

    Let us begin. Compare what Obama has done to the US economy with what Governor Palin did for Alaska’s free and prosperous citizens.

  • Attempts to defend Palin’s gaffes are often more embarrassing than the gaffes themselves. It’s like if people responded to Obama’s misstatement about having visited 57 states by arguing that there really were 58 states.

  • I am by no means an apologist for Palin and I think that she clearly misspoke here. That being the case, what she said is in fact accurate, and the mis-reporting of what she said is wrong.

  • I also get a kick out of the interaction of Palin haters and Palinistas. The former don’t want to hear any counter-factual evidence that their opinions of the lady might be off, the latter can’t abide even a hint of criticism. She’s not my first choice for President, but a part of me would enjoy the endless entertainment that one or two terms of President Palin would provide on all fronts.

  • “Attempts to defend Palin’s gaffes are often more embarrassing than the gaffes themselves. It’s like if people responded to Obama’s misstatement about having visited 57 states by arguing that there really were 58 states.”

    One rarely hears about Obama’s gaffes except in organs of conservative opinion either in the old or the new media. Palin has been savaged more than any politician I can think of in my lifetime, with much of the criticism being lodged against her being intensely personal and intensely deranged. (Yes, Andrew Sullivan, I am looking at you.) What this latest tempest in a Boston teapot truly reveals is that most of the critics addressing this verbal mistep of hers have a rather shakier grasp of American history than she does.

  • Oh, and to avoid some historical errors painful to behold being written by Palin bashers in this thread, I would note the following:

    1. After Revere reached Lexington the Church bells began to ring. That is how the militia were summoned in colonial days. That is how the militia were summoned throughout Massachusetts on that fateful early morning of April 19. Where bells weren’t available artillery shots were used and where that wasn’t available muskets shots were used to call in the militia,

    2. The British were marching to seize the magazine at Concord and take the powder there.

    There, now you will not reveal yourself to be as ignorant as some of the Palin critics on the net who are oblivious to these facts.

  • Paul,

    Palin says the Revere “warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells, and making sure as he rode through town to send those warning shots and bells.”

    Does Revere’s letter say that he rang any bells to warn the British? No.

    Does Revere’s letter say that he fired any warning shots to warn the British? No.

    Does Revere’s letter say that he rode through town to warn the British? No.

    If you read Revere’s letter (not just the one paragraph excerpt) what you find is that Revere did ring bells, ride through town, and fire warning shots, but that he did all of these things not to warn the British, but to warn the Americans about the British. The letter also recounts how, after doing all this, he is spotted by some British officers, how he tries to evade them (as he had previously evaded British horsemen while warning the countryside) but is captured, and the tells them that he had warned the Americans.

    Just so I’m clear here, when Palin refers to Revere warning the British by making warning shots and ringing bells, you think that she meant to refer to the fact that Revere told the British what he had done after being captured? And that, despite the fact that Revere’s statement to the British involved him neither ringing any bells, nor firing any shots, nor riding through town, you think her statement is “completely accurate”?

  • More basic historical knowledge for Palin bashers:

    “Dawes initially appeared to have escaped his pursuers, but was thrown from his horse and captured. Paul Revere was taken prisoner and during his interrogation deliberately provided greatly inflated numbers of militiamen awaiting the British at Concord.

    During the ride back to Lexington, Revere and his captors heard shots fire and church bells ring throughout the area — events that gave some credence to Revere’s report of colonial preparations. Fearing for their safety, the British released Revere, but took the precaution of giving him a tired horse to slow his return to Lexington.”

    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1261.html

    Don’t thank me. I consider it my bounden Christian duty to instruct the historically ignorant.

  • “Just so I’m clear here, when Palin refers to Revere warning the British by making warning shots and ringing bells, you think that she meant to refer to the fact that Revere told the British what he had done after being captured?”

    No BA, her statement clearly indicates that she was referring to Revere’s ride as a challenge to the British and the bells ringing and the warning shots as a result of that ride. She was inarticulate about it, as most politicians tend to be when they make off the cuff remarks, but that was the clear sense of what she said. The facts of Revere’s ride indicate that her remarks were closer to describing what actually happened than the over the top reaction of her critics would indicate.

  • I should add that I don’t think Palin’s error here is a big deal. Anyone who does a lot of extemporaneous speaking is going to make similar flubs from time to time. The problem comes when people try to defend her by pretending that they aren’t flubs.

  • At least she know how many states the US has or which army liberated Auschwhiz. I believe Sarah would be even able tell someone which hand one salutes the flag with and be willing to salute the flag.
    The MSM has dealt the woman misery ever since she was selected to run for vice president. It is shameful the way American media conducts it self and the blatant bias they exhibit. The give Obama a pass on any and all of his actions. Obama’s ego is so big he cannot admit most of his ideas are at best socialistic and doomed to wreak havoc on the United States, yet the press will not report on it.

  • Here’s the solution both for Palin-haters and Obama-worshipping imbeciles.

    Set up a 50 question multiple choice test on history, and fiscal and monetary policies. Palin’s people make up Obama’s test. Obama’s villains compile Governor Palin’s test.

    We’ll learn who is the idiot.

    Or, they could both make fools of themselves on “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”

    Here’s the big difference! Palin is making a fool of herself on TV opinion shows. Obama’s mistakes . . .

  • Admittedly Palin’s wording is incredibly garbled and she did not give a very articulate response.

    How dare you! According to Don, Palin is the greatest political talent since Reagan (that’s not hyperbole on my part). I quote, “Charisma is a much overused term, but no other will do for describing the impact of Palin on the television screen. This is a God-given gift that no amount of practice can give, and God was very generous indeed in the portion that He gave this daughter of Eve.”

    That was a serious post by Don shortly before the 2008 election. To which Tito replied, seriously, “She certainly has confidence, intuition, brains, and an excellent grasp of the issues.”

    Now, I’ve defended Palin from liberals in the past. I think she’s attacked more viciously than any other politician. She seems like a good manager. On the issues, I’m probably in agreement with her more than with Obama. And in this case, it wasn’t the content that I cringed at. It was her poor attempt at expressing it. She can’t speak intelligently about a topic she’s not comfortable with and the topics she’s not comfortable with are history, science, literature, economics, and foreign policy.

  • No BA, her statement clearly indicates that she was referring to Revere’s ride as a challenge to the British

    Tell that to Paul. He seems to think Palin meant that Revere was warning the British, and that she was right!

  • A staple knock on Reagan from the Left his entire political career was that he was a blithering idiot. Clark Clifford after Reagan’s election in 80 referred to Reagan as an amiable dunce. (RR, if you don’t know who Clark Clifford was just google his name.) Liberals often took great joy in the fact that Reagan frequently made mistakes of fact in his stories, and not infrequently mangled history, sometimes quoting something he had seen in a movie and citing it as a historical event. None of that made any difference because Reagan had preternatural political skills and leadership ability in spades, and because he was challenging Jimmy Carter, the most inept president in our nation’s history not named James Buchanan or Barack Obama. I think Palin has the same qualities in the first two areas. Like Reagan, and like most politicians, Palin mangles facts when she speaks off the cuff. As in the case of Reagan, the mainstream media labor mightily to transform mistatement molehills of Palin into mountains of error, because, as also was the case with Reagan, they heartily detest her and the Harley she rode in on.

  • Tell that to Paul. He seems to think Palin meant that Revere was warning the British, and that she was right!

    What Paul actually said.

    Revere was in fact warning the British, but more as a way of bragging.

    Neither Palin nor myself said that Paul Revere made his ride to warn the British. I related the story as actually told by Revere. He encountered the British sentinels, and then told them what was going down.

    The problem comes when people try to defend her by pretending that they aren’t flubs.

    Wow I actually said – more than once – that she mangled the English language and spoke inarticulately. Again, you are the complete opposite end of the Palinistas. Just as they can broker absolutely no criticism of anything she speaks, people of your ilk cannot tolerate any mild defense of her. It’s kind of sad, really. But I guess such is the life of an anonymous coward lobbing verbal hand grenades without bothering to form opinions for yourself.

  • Neither Palin nor myself said that Paul Revere made his ride to warn the British.

    Palin said Revere “warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells.”

    You said her remarks were “completely accurate.”

    Have I misquoted either you or Palin here?

  • I think it is painfully obvious listening to Palin that she is not saying that Paul Revere set out on his ride to warn the British. As she said in her – once again for you too slow to understand – badly garbled soundbite, once confronted with British troops Revere warned them, but not in a manner of alarm but in a sense of bragging about what was being done .

    Seriously, are you so dense that you can’t comprehend the difference? This was obvious the first time I heard the soundbite.

  • I think it is painfully obvious listening to Palin that she is not saying that Paul Revere set out on his ride to warn the British.

    That’s what she said. You can argue that that’s not what she meant, and as I said above I don’t think this is really a big deal. She got confused, which happens to the best of them. I don’t have a problem with people defending Sarah Palin (I’ve done it myself from time to time). What I object to are the claims that what she said was accurate.

    As she said in her – once again for you too slow to understand – badly garbled soundbite, once confronted with British troops Revere warned them, but not in a manner of alarm but in a sense of bragging about what was being done.

    Seriously, are you so dense that you can’t comprehend the difference? This was obvious the first time I heard the soundbite.

    The first time you heard the soundbite your reaction was that she was referring to what Revere said to the British after he was captured?

    There’s no reference to Revere being captured, for example, and all the things she does mention (ringing bells, firing warning shots, etc.) are things Revere did to warn people about the British. To say that she meant to refer to what Revere said after he was captured is simply not plausible (though I’m happy for each person to judge for himself).

    Btw, saying that Palin spoke inarticulately or that what she said was garbled is not the same as saying that what she said was inaccurate. Your statement was that what she said was completely accurate. You can resort to name calling, but it won’t change the fact that this isn’t true.

  • That’s what she said.

    No. It isn’t. She didn’t say that Paul Revere set out to warn the British.

    The first time you heard the soundbite your reaction was that she was referring to what Revere said to the British after he was captured?

    Exchanges like this make we weep. No, my first instinctual reaction was not that she was referring to this specific exchange (although, upon learning of where she had been and the tour she had taken I think that perhaps she was referring to this). As soon as I heard this soundbite it seemed glaringly obvious that she was not asserting – as the anchor suggested -that Paul Revere set out to warn the British. That’s the only point I’m really making. The assertion that Sarah Palin completely jumbled her history and thought that the Paul Revere rode out to warn British soldiers seemed patently false upon first hearing.

    Btw, saying that Palin spoke inarticulately or that what she said was garbled is not the same as saying that what she said was inaccurate.

    Because what she said wasn’t inaccurate. If she had gotten her history wrong I’d be the first to admit it. But what she said was correct. That she knows more about history than you is not really a sign of her ignorance.

  • It seems they (the W, the despicable party, and state-run press) believe insulting Sarah Palin’s historical acuity will somehow assuage the sufferings of 150,000,000 hopeless Americans.

  • In light of the original post, this incident reminds me of Dan Quayle and the potatoe incident.

  • I think she clearly mispoke and meant ‘warning that the bristish were coming’.

    But hey, let Marsha Shea and the girls at Vox Nova have their fun.

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy: ) This is a followup story to the original incident, reporting on Palin’s appearance on Fox News Sunday in which she was questioned by host Chris Wallace about the Paul Revere remarks:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/palin-i-didnt-mess-up-about-paul-revere/2011/06/05/AGL71aJH_blog.html?wpisrc=nl_politics

  • Per Cathy’s link, Palin says of Revere that “[p]art of his ride was to warn the British.”

    Glad we cleared that up.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjJgcDaOlbQ

    She certainly knows her American history far better than most of her critics who have simply beclowned themselves in this latest chapter in their unending Palin obsession.

  • Here’s another column from Hot Air on the story, again buttressing the point that Palin essentially got it right, as a Boston U History professor attests to.

    They link to this Andrew Malcolm. It’s a good rundown of other “gaffes” that weren’t gaffes or didn’t happen (Al Gore never claimed to have invented the internet, GHWB didn’t mis-identify a checkout scanner).

    Then again, we live in a country where people think that Sarah Palin actually said “I can see Russia from my house.”

  • Unthink progressives are deathly afraid of Governor Palin’s policies. As always, they show their “true colors” with hatred, insults, and fabrications.

    See today’s Instapundit: Experts back Governor Palin on Paul Revere. Here’s the money quote, “A lot of the criticism is unfair and made by people who are themselves ignorant of history.”

    “Any fool can criticize and complain.” And, most debased, dilatory, indolent, languid, miserable, supine, witless morons do.

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