We’re all aware that Sarah Palin is a lightning rod for non-controversy and faux-criticism from those actively looking to destroy her. Whenever she misuses a phrase or gets minor facts wrong about something inconsequential, the media gets out their tweezers to nitpick away at it, whether they’re trying to simply make her look dumb, or accuse her of murder. You know, whatever works. The latest non-story served up for our distraction from the real issues facing this country stems from Palin’s Friday visit to Boston’s historic Old North Church. In some off-the-cuff remarks, Palin made a statement regarding Paul Revere’s famous “Midnight Ride.” See the video below, which aired on a local Boston news channel:
[youtube oS4C7bvHv2w nolink]
Here is what Palin said:
“[Revere] warned the British that they weren’t gonna be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells, and making sure, as he’s riding his horse through town, to send those warning shots and bells that we were gonna be secure, and we were gonna be free.”
The purpose of Revere’s ride was warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British army were moving in an effort to arrest them, as well as seize Sam’s kick ass beer recipe their weapons stores. They communicated via lantern signals from the top of the church, the origin of the old “one if by land, two if by sea” line, as a method of communicating the manner in which the British army was going to move. But anyway, that’s the Cliff’s Notes version. Despite what you’ve heard or may think, there really isn’t anything incorrect about what Palin said.
Which brings us to the idiotic response to Palin’s statement. Here’s what the angry clowns at Wonkette had to say:
Could Sarah Palin be stupider?
Yes, and she is stupider: She also claims Paul Revere’s “midnight ride” on the eve of the Revolutionary War has something to do with the U.S. Constitution’s second amendment — the Bill of Rights wouldn’t exist until 1789 and wouldn’t be ratified until the end of 1791 — another 16 years after Revere’s famous ride. Ugh, every time Sarah Palin speaks in public, the nation’s collective IQ drops another point.
Oh, and those British takin’ away our arms? Paul Revere was British. Hancock and Adams were British. (Revere also never shouted “The British are coming,” both because that would defeat the purpose of quietly riding by night to alert his fellow revolutionary elitists and because they were all British.) He rang no bells, he fired no shots. Again, what would be the point of a secret midnight ride — and he was one of approximately 40 revolutionary conspirators and spies riding around Lexington that night warning of the army’s approach — if he was banging on bells and firing shots into the sky like some common Wasilla meth freak with a semi-automatic?
Wonkette is still attempting to recover from that whole “No one wants to advertise with people who make fun of kids with Down syndrome” thing that happened recently, so I understand if they’ve got some anger built up. But really, I’m amazed they peddle this nonsense under the banner of so-called humor. The only people who come out looking stupid are, once again, the snarkmongers at Wonkette (also, let’s not forget our friends over at ThinkProgress).
As Conservatives 4 Palin and William A. Jacobson have rightly pointed out, Paul Revere, in fact, DID warn the British. And I’m not being a petty smartass, snarking off the fact the colonists conspirators were also British citizens. Paul Revere actually warned the British Regulars, also known as the Redcoats, about the colonists being armed and ready. I know, crazy right? Why on Earth would Paul Revere, a huge figure in American mythology, do such a thing? Surely this isn’t true, Silly Sarah’s obviously being the dumb female stereotype we liberals have built up in the media. I mean, c’mon! She can see Russia from her house, right guys?!
In case you aren’t an American history nerd (or didn’t just check out the links above), prepare for some schoolin’. During his ride, Revere had an encounter with the British during his ride, in which, as they held a gun to his chest, he told them every gun-toting colonist behind him knew they were coming, and they were ready to blow their heads off. Oh yeah, and the Redcoats were subsequently shot at by said colonists while they had Revere in tow. Oops.
Here it is, in Paul Revere’s own words (emphasis added, shockingly boldface didn’t exist back them), via the Massachusetts Historical Society:
“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 as-
ked 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. He then orderd them to advance,
& to lead me in front. When we got to the Road, they
turned down towards Lexington. When we had got about one
Mile, the Major Rode up to the officer that was leading
me, & told him to give me to the Sergeant. As soon as
he took me, the Major orderd him, if I attempted to
run, or any body insulted them, to blow my brains out.
We rode till we got near Lexington Meeting-house,
when the Militia fired a Voley of Guns, which ap-
peared to alarm them very much.”
There you have it folks, in the words of the man himself, complete with warning the British and warning shots. But wait, you ask, what about the bells? Jacobson covers that one, citing “Paul Revere’s Ride”, a book on the incident by David Hackett Fischer, which noted accounts of not only gunshots and bells ringing through the night air on the evening of Revere’s ride, but also, oddly, drums.
The Wonkette piece also states that Palin was referring to the Second Amendment, something she obviously never brought up, a fact that is painfully obvious if you, ya know, watched the video. But let us humor this point anyway, let’s say she was referring to Ted Nugent’s favorite part of the Constitution. The idea here is obviously to indicate that Palin thinks the Constitution somehow existed before it was even drafted. Again, you can’t say that because there is absolutely nothing here to indicate that Palin thinks that the Constitution, let alone the Second Amendment, was in place in 1775 when Revere made his historic ride. To do so is a pathetic attempt to grasp at straws.
If Palin was, in fact, referencing the Second Amendment, the only explanation that makes sense is that she was pointing out the reason it was added to our founding document in the first place, in an effort to keep potential tyrants in check, as they will no doubt remember their citizens have guns too. There’s a reason the British Regulars were moving to collect those weapons stores, and arrest the guy with the killer signature and fellow whose face adorns this beer I’m drinking right now. Them not having guns makes them significantly easier to control.
Sorry Wonkette, but it turns out Sarah Palin knows more about American history than you do. Better luck next time, kidlets.