Monday, June 6, 2011

Just Wow!

Holy No Idea What You Are Talking About, Batman.

Look, FLG knows some readers will immediately respond, Yeah, But Obama doesn't know what he is talking about on...fill-in some topic. The Economy, perhaps. So, FLG would like to point out that there is a difference between being incorrect because of incorrect assumptions and hypotheses, and simply spouting nonsense.


Robbo said...

Here is a link to Revere's own deposition about his April 18, 1775 ride:

I have long known that he was caught by the Brits between Lexington and Concord. I had not known until this kerfluffle brewed up that after he was caught, he defied the Redcoats by telling them the country had been raised and the patriots were coming for them.

It seems to me this is what Palin was talking about. I don't really hold a brief for her, but there you are.

FLG said...

Oh, Robbo. I don't see anything about bells and what have you...

Palin was mumbling nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't you know that the very last assignment Little Bertie had at school was a oral report on a famous American and he chose Paul Revere...

Even Little Bertie - a third grader who read 2 5th grade level books as well as Paul Revere's own account- and the account he told his grandchildren which added his dog bringing him his spurs- could tell you Sarah Palin was right but that may be because we did not let him read Longfellow's poem on the ride - from Prof. Jacobsen:

This weekend, lacking any new Weiner revelations (but see today), the left-blogosphere (but not exclusively the left) was preoccupied with proving that Sarah Palin was wrong when she said that Paul Revere had warned the British that the colonial militias were massing.

Relying on the Longfellow poem about Paul Revere's ride, there was a collective insistence that Palin's statement reflected ignorance and stupidity, but the truth is that the Longfellow poem was not a complete account of the events.

Indeed, the Longfellow Historical Society (via Althouse) notes:
The basic premise of Longfellow's poem is historically accurate, but Paul Revere's role is exaggerated. The most glaring inconsistencies between the poem and the historical record are that Revere was not the only rider that night, nor did he make it all the way to Concord, but was captured and then let go (without his horse) in Lexington, where he had stopped to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock of the impending attack.

Longfellow's intention was not to write a history; it was to create a national hero and he was successful at doing so.
When I pointed out a fact, that Revere himself wrote that he had warned the British that the colonial militias were waiting, the anti-Palinites went into full attack mode, calling me a "deranged propagandist," of making Palin "an object of idolatry," and of validating "the vagina vote."

Charles Johnson purported to uncover a conspiracy by one person to update the Wikipedia entry on Revere, although Charles did not point out what would have been inaccurate about the updates.

The debate also shifted, from she was wrong as to the fact of the warning to she was wrong as to Revere's intent. The goal posts constantly were moved. All in all, there was an intellectual shut down by those on the left and right who don't like Palin, an unwillingness to consider facts which contradicted their narrative.

The Boston Herald quotes two local historians who back up the fact that Palin may have been right:
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.”

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.”

McConville said he also is not convinced that Palin’s remarks reflect scholarship.

“I would call her lucky in her comments,” McConville said.
Fine, call her lucky. But don't shut your mind to the possibility that she was right factually, and don't accuse those who pointed out facts of being idol worshippers or worse.

The shutting of the collective anti-Palin mind is what we witnessed this weekend.


Mrs. P

Robbo said...

It's true that she garbled some of the details, but I don't think she was talking nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Then there's this -Mr. P has read this book - it's on our shelves:

This account in "Paul Revere's Ride" by David Hackett Fischer (Oxford University Press 1994), may be of interest to Think Progress and all the others laughing because they purport to be so much better informed than Palin:

"A townsman remembered that 'repeated gunshots, the beating of drums and the ringing of bells filled the air.'.... Along the North Shore of Massachusetts, church bells began to toll and the heavy beat of drums could be heard for many miles in the night air."

Mrs. P

Andrew Stevens said...

I think both sides are nuts here. "Warns the British" is an obvious verbal hiccup of the kind that everyone makes on occasion (e.g. Obama saying he had visited fifty-seven states). It's pretty clear that she does, in fact, have a general idea of what Paul Revere did and was just being a bit incoherent about it because she isn't any more aware of the details than most of us are and was grasping for words to describe it.

On the other hand, claims that she actually has some deep knowledge of Paul Revere which she was trying to convey are obviously silly.

FLG said...


I'm with you about the verbal hiccup. But if you don't know the details, then just shut up. Don't babble like an imbecile.

And holy shit do I agree with you on the second point.

Anonymous said...

Alright, let's start this at the beginning again. Sarah Palin -in Boston -is asked on the fly a question - she responds with Paul Revere warned the British.... The Left and friends go nuts for the umpteenth time -She's so stupid.

As our 9 year-old son ( who admittedly tests in the 98% bracket on standardized tests) - demonstrated - it is more than plausible that Sarah knew her stuff about Paul Revere warning the British. Also when one considers Sarah pulls down serious $$$$$ making tea partyesque speeches- speeches she for the most part authors- it's not out of the realm of possibility that Sarah has read Paul's own account of his ride, and not just relied upon Longfellow.

This all said, Sarah herself, nor those who are defending her are not claiming Sarah to be a Paul Revere expert or in possession of "deep knowledge" on Paul Revere. As has been demonstrated, she knows as much about Paul Revere that a 9 year old can easily learn and tell his class , no doubt, as equally garbled, as he wasn't allowed to read a report but only allowed to use talking points.

As far as deep knowledge on Paul Revere, I would like to see someone quiz her on Paul Revere's questionable behavior prior to the ride. Like, the actual tea party. Considering how some of the Founding Father were against that type of protest and Sarah too is the going rogue type, this would be a natural line of questioning.

That said, my favorite Sarah Palin doesn't-know-her- history-moment still has to be when Mikka (sp?) Brezwhatever her name is was criticizing Sarah for saying George Washington was her favorite Founding Father as according to Mikka(?) Washington was not a Founding Father. Oh, and Mikka's favorite Founding Father - why Abrham Lincoln she answered.

Mrs. P

Andrew Stevens said...

What's clear to me from the video is that she meant to say that Revere was warning American colonists about the British and she just screwed it up, as anybody could have. (It's the pause before she says British that gives it away. She realized that she had lost what she was going to say and was trying to get it right, but came out with it wrong.) I disagree with FLG's characterization that she "babbled like an imbecile." She's on camera; she has to have a response and she just fumbled it a bit is all. It really wasn't even that bad. That sort of things happen to people all the time when speaking extemporaneously. But if she was trying to talk about Revere's capture by the British, she would not have expressed it anything like the way she did, which is why I find that defense so extraordinary.

Anonymous said...

"But if she was trying to talk about Revere's capture by the British, she would not have expressed it anything like the way she did, which is why I find that defense so extraordinary."

When it comes to Sarah Palin and speaking, I have to respectfully disagree. That said, I can see your point. Sarah always fights back and refuses to give in but here, I am inclined she meant to say Revere warned the British. Why? It fits the context of the intent of her bus ride.

Her bus ride isn't to warn the people. The people are already warned - November 2010 was excellent evidence. Her bus ride is to warn Washington that it's there's a day of reckoning on the horizon. This is why the press is o nutty about it. Her treatment of the press during this ride, backs this up as well. It's their day of reckoning too - gosh have they been screaming like stuck pigs. Sarah sees the relationship between Washington and press as complicit. After Anthony Weiner, who wants to say Sarah is wrong about that?

Michele Bachmann made that unbelievable mistake of thinking Concord New Hampshire was Concord MA. Then she made it so much worse by blaming the liberal media for criticizing her. Now she's hired Ed Rollins - ugh.

But even worse was Herman Cain. He made a huge -absolutely huge- foreign policy blunder regarding the right of return for Palestinians. He didn't know what it was. And he's running for President in the middle of the "Arab Spring"....

He owned up to not knowing it the next day. His campaign moved on. This issue will return but he has time to learn the issue before it does.

This garble -who Paul Revere warned - is not on the level of Cain's. Sarah is either taking a page out of Anthony Weiner's marriage and "weathering this" or she really meant to say it. Personally, I think she likes to get inside O's head- the Greek column swipe her convention speech -- this seems like more of the same.

Mrs. P

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