As Sarah Palin wraps up her "One Nation" bus tour of historic sites, she's dealing with backlash to her claim that Paul Revere delivered a warning to both British soldiers and his fellow American colonists during his famous midnight ride. Critics accused Palin and her supporters of rewriting Revolutionary War history — quite literally: Palin fans tried to rewrite Revere's Wikipedia page to reflect her version of events. But Palin said she "didn't mess up," maintaining that the famous messenger really did warn British soldiers that they wouldn't be able to seize colonists' guns. What does Palin's history lesson say about her and her critics?
Palin is simply clueless: The former Alaska governor's "latest piece of nuttery" merely demonstrates again how remarkably uninformed she is, says Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast. And the refusal to acknowledge the error — by both Palin and the "cultists" who rewrote the Revere Wiki page — proves that she won't let truth stand in her way. This would be funny except that "someone who can lie that readily and manipulate religious and cultural resentment as well as she does is a danger," especially in a long recession.
"Paul Revere and Palin's mind"
No, it's Palin's detractors who are unhinged: OK, so Palin's history lesson doesn't square with the popular version of Paul Revere's ride, says William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection. But that doesn't make it wrong. It turns out that a letter, written by Revere himself in 1789, indicates that he did, indeed, warn the British that colonial militias were waiting for them. The leaders of the left-wing blogosphere — and their mainstream sympathizers — are laughing at Palin, but they're the ones who "have made fools of themselves."
"So now all these people will apologize to Sarah Palin about Paul Revere, right?"
Sorry, the defense of Palin does not ring true: "This is ludicrous," says E.D. Kain at Forbes. There is no way Palin ever read Paul Revere's obscure 1789 letter. But even if she did, why choose to minimize the aspect of Revere's ride that changed our nation's history — his warnings to colonists? If Palin's supporters want her to be a serious presidential candidate, they "should stop defending her every foible and help her with her education instead."
"The sad defense of Palin's botched history"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
Subscribe to the Week