“What have you seen so far today, and what are you going to take away from your visit?”
That’s the question asked of Palin by a random voter while Palin was visiting Boston’s Old North Church as part of her fire-in-the-belly-of-Liberty non-campaign campaign bus tour or whatever we’re calling it today.
What have you seen so far?
What are you getting out of it?
Note that the question was asked not by the media, but by a random citizen.
Note also that the question was not “Mrs. Palin, pop quiz! You have two minutes to give American voters, political analysts, and historians a quick dissertation regarding the specifics of Founding Father Paul Revere, including his famous ride, the particular warning signals used, the nature of Revere’s message including its intended recipient and the thought process behind its dispatch, and how that relates to gun ownership in the nascent proto-United States. Go!”
No, instead the question was basically an innocuous, “Gee, Sarah, cool, uh?”
This seems to me a reasonable question asked by any citizen, left , right, or center, when given the opportunity to greet a famous politician with the TV cameras rolling. What have you seen? What do you think? Certainly, Palin’s security team wouldn’t have let the petitioner close enough to ask that question without knowing what the question was going to be.
What have you seen today, what do you think about it? Seems like exactly the kind of softball question a politician would relish.
A savvy and prepared politician would have answered, “What’s your name? Mary? Thank you for asking, Mary, (that’s just the bestest question ever! Gush!) and it’s just great to meet you here at the Old North Church (or “this historic place” if you can’t remember where the hell you are)! It’s great to be here at the place where the United States was born. I’m humbled to stand in some of the same places as our founding fathers, those great men (or “patriots,” if you must) who risked all for freedom (life, liberty, truth, justice, and/or the American way). But, you know, really, the best part of my visit is meeting people like you and hearing what you have to say!” Blah, blah, fluff, fluff, kiss, kiss, and etc. Thanks again for asking and we’ve got to go! Wave, wave, bye bye, hasta lasagna, don’t get any on ya.
Any savvy and experienced pol has a set of canned responses for any given situation, from an obnoxious heckler to a baby puking on their tie. Swap a few words around, shift the focus of the question back on the questioner, freedom, liberty, the American spirit, yadda yadda and make an innocuous wisecrack. You never catch a savvy politician off guard, because they never are off guard – even if they’re caught tweeting pictures of their junk to social media sites, or wiggling their foot under the door of a public restroom stall, or trying to sell a Senate seat to the highest bidder.
You want to be a player, you better learn to play the game.
The problem is that Sarah Palin is not a savvy politician. She’s a spoiled brat with the manners of a mean and petty high school homecoming queen. She’s pretty and popular and so far that’s worked just fine for her. People give her stuff just because she’s pretty and popular. And that’s also why a hell of a lot of staunch conservative men support her – they don’t really want her to be president, and they would be the last guys to take orders from a woman, what they really want is to get laid. They think if they sing her praises loud enough and follow her around like a dog in heat she’ll maybe sleep with them, Palin isn’t the only one still in high school (Don’t believe me? Yeah, how much support do you think she’d get if she was fat and ugly and flat-chested with short kinky ginger hair?). The sad part is that if you’re not in her little clique with the jocks and the cheerleaders, well, then you just don’t count. Palin will throw anybody under the bus that even looks like they might pull the spotlight off of her – just ask Mitt Romney. Thinking isn’t Palin’s strongest muscle, because she’s never needed to use it, and the only questions she’s prepared for are the kinds of questions a beauty queen gets asked, “As Queen of the World, I’ll work for world peace, Jesus, and fluffy bunnies who fart sunshine and rainbows!”
She’s a beauty queen, that’s why The Donald loves her, she reminds him of Mrs. Trump (First, second, the current one, and the next one, there’s a pattern here).
What have you seen so far today and what are you going to take away from your visit?
“We saw where Paul Revere hung out as a teenager, which was something new to learn. He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t goin’ to be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.”
I know. I know. I see you there in the back, waving your arm. I hear you. Waitaminute now, Jim, I hear you say in that tsk tsk tone you use when you think I’m the guy who drew a Sharpie mustache on your autographed picture of Sarah, you said you wouldn’t give The Sourdough Shill any more air time, and yet here we are. Seriously, Jim, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
Well, yes, I did deface your copy of America By Heart, don’t worry it’ll still work just fine as fertilizer. And I did say that I wouldn’t give her any more electrons – unless she actually does declare for the White House or unless she does something so damned stupid that I simply can’t ignore it. Her blathering idiotic response above doesn’t break the threshold for either criteria.
No, what did it was the follow-up comment.
"You know what? I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere. Here is what Paul Revere did. He warned the Americans that the British were coming, the British were coming, and they were going to try to take our arms and we got to make sure that we were protecting ourselves and shoring up all of our ammunitions and our firearms so that they couldn’t take it. But remember that the British had already been there, many soldiers for seven years in that area. And part of Paul Revere’s ride — and it wasn’t just one ride — he was a courier, he was a messenger. Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there. That, hey, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individual, private militia that we have. He did warn the British. And in a shout-out, gotcha type of question that was asked of me, I answered candidly. And I know my American history.”
I know my American history. You know, if she’d hadn’t added that little bit, I might have ignored her.
I know my American history. Just like Rush Limbaugh knows his.
You know what? I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere.
Palin is pathologically incapable of admitting a mistake. That doesn’t bode well for her as a politician, but it sure sounds like the high school clique queen bee, doesn’t it?
He warned the Americans that the British were coming, the British were coming, and they were going to try to take our arms and we got to make sure that we were protecting ourselves and shoring up all of our ammunitions and our firearms so that they couldn’t take it. But remember that the British had already been there, many soldiers for seven years in that area…
The British were coming … but they were already here. Or something. Wait what? You’d think, knowing that this was going to be the topic of conversation during her FoxNews interview, that she’d get somebody to do her homework for her. Guess not. And in fact, that statement – made after two days of reflection, two days of preparation, during a voluntary interview specifically about her original statement, in front of a friendly audience and a sympathetic interviewer – is even more inane and incorrect than her first blathering nonsensical statement.
Revere was dispatched on the evening of April 18, 1775, by Dr. Joseph Warren and instructed to ride to Lexington (Massachusetts, not Lexington, Kentucky – you know, just in case Michelle Bachman is reading this) to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British Regulars were marching to arrest them.
Wait, April 18th, 1775?
Why, that’s a full year before the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of the American Revolution.
What the hell?
See, the vast majority of colonists (who were not yet Americans per se, but were rather British colonists in The Americas) were still loyal to the Crown, most of them didn’t want independence, they wanted better representation in Parliament and full rights as British citizens (including the right not to bear the tax burden of the Empire’s war with France – which is what that whole Tea Party thing was all about, you know, back in 1773). The folks who would eventually become our Founding Fathers, including Revere, were, in 1775, mostly regarded as a handful of disgruntled troublemakers. The Redcoats weren’t invading, they were already here. They weren’t coming to take “our” arms, they were coming to arrest the rebels. It would be very unlikely that the British would round up arms from the civilian population at that point, they needed irregulars – i.e. the colonial militias – to deal with the natives and brigands and the odd Frenchman. The Crown was broke (which, you know, was the whole reason the king was taxing the crap out of the colonies in the first place), every Redcoat in the Colonies was one less to fight the French elsewhere and was costing the King a fortune.
Revere and William Dawes were dispatched to warn the rebels that the Regulars were coming to arrest the rebels.
There was no mention by anybody of the Army coming to take the colonists’ weapons. It would not have occurred to the world’s most powerful military that it was necessary (or possible. Note for comparison that in Iraq and Afghanistan today, our own military has made no concerted effort to disarm the population. Because it would be a futile gesture, doomed to failure from the start).
Now, Dr. Warren – another founding father, and disgruntled troublemaker, who had been gathering intelligence on the King’s forces – felt that the contingent of Redcoats headed toward Lexington was too large a force just to arrest a brewer and a merchant. Warren thought that they might be looking to garrison in Concord. After warning Adams and Hancock, and dispatching additional riders to warn surrounding towns, Revere and Dawes continued on to Concord. Along the way they meet Sam Prescott. All three were stopped by a British patrol at Lincoln. Prescott and Dawes escaped (Prescott managed to make it to Concord, Dawes fell off his horse in the dark and busted his ass – which is why most of us have never heard of him), but Revere was captured and detained. When questioned by the Redcoats at gunpoint, he did what any good troublemaker would do – he lied his ass off. He told the Major in charge of the patrol that they were surrounded by rebels, that the whole countryside was arrayed against them, and that they were screwed. The Redcoats of that small patrol were understandably a bit nervous at this news – and then a distant shot rang out. Revere told his captors it was the rebels, firing shots to “alarm the Country!” There were more shots. The British began to panic. Then the bells in Lexington began to toll (probably in response to the confused situation).
The simple truth of the matter is that nobody, British or Colonist, had any damned idea of what the hell was going on. There were rumors galore and misinformation aplenty and confused panic on both sides. Along with a rather large number of the usual idiots who always show up in any crowd and throw gasoline on the fire.
Trust me, this is a common event in war, conflict, patrol in hostile territory, and even during training exercises. In the days before instantaneous communications, decent maps, and electric lighting, it was far, far worse. Modern military intelligence systems didn’t exist, spies and information gatherers were freelancers, on both sides, and the British were woefully uninformed of the actual situation. So were the colonists. The Redcoats were alone, outnumbered, surrounded by hostiles (or so they thought) and under fire (or so they thought), in the pitch dark and without communications with higher authority. One thing you can bet was on that major’s mind, he didn’t want to start a war with the colonials, his job was to keep the peace. Colonists pay taxes, rebels don’t. England already had one war, she didn’t need another with her own citizens. That Redcoat major had to be very aware of what his distant commanders in Boston would think about his actions that night.
Revere played the situation for all it was worth, shouting, “The bell’s a’rining! The town’s alarmed and you’re all dead men!” He had no idea why the bells were ringing, they could have been warning of fire or some other disaster. He had no idea what those gunshots were about either. He just took advantage of the situation. Scaring the British wasn’t his mission, it was just something he improvised on the spot. Honestly, what did he have to lose?
The British decided that discretion was the better part of valor, a wise military decision. They released their prisoners, including Revere, and headed back to Boston post haste, happy to be away from the uncouth and unruly colonials.
Palin’s assertion that Revere’s mission was to warn the British that they could take “our” guns when they pried them from “our” cold dead hands is complete provable bullshit – despite the fact that her supporters are still trying to get into her pants by changing Wikipedia to give her version support (funny how these folks sneer at Wikipedia, but then immediately try to use it to validate their own position, but I digress).
Her original statement is the kind of shallow garbled Mickey Mouse nonsensical version of history that you get from a cursory glance at a few information signs in a tourist stop, or a half-remembered jumble of words you heard from the park ranger.
I know my history.
Yeah, my ass.
Her follow-up statement is pure rationalization and nothing more. It’s the twisting of a person hoist on their own petard like the class nerd hung from a locker by the back of his underpants – a feeling that I’m quite sure a pretty popular little has-been beauty queen is most unfamiliar with. Doesn’t feel too damned good, does it, Sarah?
“And in a shout-out, gotcha type of question that was asked of me…”
Ah, yes. And there it is. The question was a gotcha – as are all questions that Palin can’t answer. That’s what a beauty queen says when she loses the pageant, the questions were unfair! The Judges were biased! The stage was crooked! The other girls cheated! I tap danced my ass off! My boobs are perky! My makeup is perfect! I played a flawless version of the Star Spangled Banner on Kazoo! It’s not my fault!
It’s not just the lamestream media, oh no, it’s some random American who just happened to ask Palin, “What have you seen today, what do you think, what do you read?” That’s what an insecure jock says when they drop an easy lob during an expo game, “the sun was in my eyes!” We’re all against her, the media, the internet, the voters, the universe, some random person in the crowd.
This form of thinking is a habit with people like Palin.
It’s the result of a creationist worldview. Creationism not only colors what you think, it colors how you think. The symptoms are a manifestation of defective reasoning ability, a cognitive malfunction, a chronic intellectual misfire. People who can dismiss the entire body of modern science to embrace the creationist worldview display an aggressive willingness to rationalize all kinds of nonsense and cling to those false constructs despite all evidence to the contrary. From holocaust denial, to climate change denial, to birtherism, and truthiness, to irrational hatred and bigotry, to politics … to revision of well documented and established American history. So much so, that they will consider themselves greater experts (I know my history) than actual historians, scientists, and researchers.
Any contradiction or correction or criticism from actual experts is dismissed as “elitism.”
She doesn’t make mistakes, the media does, the viewers do, people who laugh at her do, people who disagree with her do, but she does not make mistakes. Ever.
Palin is a creationist, and it shows.
It shows in every action she takes and every insecure word she speaks.
Before her nomination as John McCain’s running mate, she managed to keep her mental aberrations more or less in check. As my friend and fellow writer, Eric, at Standing on the Shoulders of Giant Midgets, said, she was a small person on a small stage. But her nomination and subsequent unearned popularity has removed any restraints she once might have had and given unfettered rein to her narcissism.
She has become the Charlie Sheen of American politics.