Sarah Palin is an idiot.
There, I said it.
Now that the Failbus tour has finally cleared New England, it's time to sit back and assess the damage. Perhaps the biggest casualty is Mitt Romney. Of course it was 'only a coincidence'
that Sarah and Mitt had competing announcements mere miles apart the other day, right?
Sarah Palin crashed her red, white and blue bus into Mitt Romney’s party yesterday, sweeping into New Hampshire for the final leg of her multiday East Coast tour as he was in the state declaring his candidacy for president.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, formally opened his bid for the Republican nomination with an assault on President Barack Obama’s economic policies.
Today’s front page of the Union Leader, the state’s largest newspaper, treated Palin’s stop with a prominently displayed story and picture. Romney’s announcement was referenced on the front page with a small picture; the story on it ran on an inside page.
Palin, 47, insisted that she hadn’t intended to overshadow Romney’s announcement. She said in Seabrook yesterday that her arrival in New Hampshire simply “worked very well logistically” as the wrap up to a trip that included visits to historic sites in Philadelphia and Boston. “I say, best of luck to Governor Romney,” Palin said.
Her travel plans had remained a mystery to many Republican officials and activists even as her bus was making its way into the state. Kevin Smith, director of Cornerstone Action, a fiscally conservative think tank in New Hampshire, said that as of yesterday morning he had no details about the timing or location of her visit.
“If she’s coming up to win activists and prepare for a presidential run, this is not the way to do it,” he said.
But that's not the only news from the tour. Every time Sarah opens her mouth, it gathers a foot. While transiting the Freedom Trail via SUV this past Thursday, Sarah decided that Paul Revere
needed the Palin treatment.
On Thursday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin passed through Boston as part of her totally-not-a-presidential-campaign-test-run, family-vacation (yeah, right) East Coast bus tour. Because the purported mission of the trip is to help Americans "appreciate the significance of our nation's historic sites, patriotic events and diverse cultures," the former half-term Alaska governor did what most tour groups do when they come to the city: she checked out the Freedom Trail, which winds past historic landmarks like the Old North Church and Paul Revere's house. As she explained on her blog, "There's so much history here. It's amazing how much of our nation's history can be found in just two and a half miles on the Freedom Trail." There certainly is a lot of history to be found on the Freedom Trail, but Palin appears to have lost most of it.
Here's how she described Paul Revere's famous ride:
…he who warned the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh, by ringin' those bells and, um, makin' sure as he's ridin' his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we're gonna be secure and we were gonna be free. And we we're gonna be armed.
This is actually the opposite of everything Paul Revere did. He wasn't sending any messages to the British soldiers who were about to move on the patriots' weapons stockpiles and arrest key leaders. According to history, Revere was warning the Minutemen that the Brits were coming so these militia members could prepare. He did not ring any bells. He instructed a friend to put either one or two lights in the tower of the Old North Church ("one if by land, two if by sea"). He did not fire any warning shots. His ride at the time was no act of symbolism; it was a stealth operation in support of a local resistance movement whose goals at that point remained largely undefined.
We don't mean to nitpick—we just think that if you launch a major publicity tour on the subject of great moments in American history, it might make sense to brush up on the details first. We can only imagine how Palin might try to spin this: "Listen my children and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. If the story doesn't sound like what you read on Wikipedia, you know who to blame: the elite liberal media."
Ah, but isn't that just the typical pattern of the ignorant, tone-deaf, and brain-dead right? Our poor Minutemen, the Boston Tea Party, our loyal Patriots...all of them have been abused and corrupted by various factions for their own purposes, without taking the time to understand what those events meant in the bigger picture...or indeed whether or not they get the details right.I've blogged about this before.
Look, I worked for a year less than a mile away from Griffith Wharf...I drive on the Battle Road past the freakin' Green on the way to work every day...and I lived for 8 years in Revere, MA. These aren't abstract historical things to the people here...they are living places, actual events, and part of our collective memory. The things that happened here make up a big part of who we are as New Englanders, and indeed...Americans.
Just stop and ponder for one second
what would happen if an Eastern politician visited Texas and got some details of the Alamo wrong?