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Our Opponents Make Up History

I really don’t know how anyone can say this with a straight face:

Leave it to Sarah Palin to turn Paul Revere’s ride into a statement about “gun-grabbing.”  In a wonder of historical revisionism, she stated about Paul Revere, in one of her famous off-the-cuff blunders,

“He who warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms by ringing those bells, and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”

According to a professor of history, appearing on NPR, with the exception of the warning shots, Sarah Palin got her history right. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t know that General Gage was marching on Concord to seize one of the arms caches the colonials had there?

Prof. ALLISON: Yeah. She was making a Second Amendment case. But in fact, the British were going out to Concord to seize colonists’ arms, the weapons that the Massachusetts Provincial Congress was stockpiling there.

So, yeah, she is right in that. I mean, she may be pushing it too far to say this is a Second Amendment case. Of course, neither the Second Amendment nor the Constitution was in anyone’s mind at the time. But the British objective was to get the arms that were stockpiled in Concord.

BLOCK: So you think basically, on the whole, Sarah Palin got her history right.

Prof. ALLISON: Well, yeah, she did. And remember, she is a politician. She’s not an historian. And God help us when historians start acting like politicians, and I suppose when politicians start writing history.

Our opponents are either highly incredulous or ignorant to an astonishing degree. Maybe some combination of the two. Either way, the accusation that we’re attempting to rewrite history here is breathtaking in its ignorance, or outright hypocrisy.

22 Responses to “Our Opponents Make Up History”

  1. Thirdpower says:

    And ironically, Ladd Everitt was touting her statement as ‘NRA Insurrectionist ideology’. Apparently the phrase American Revolution escapes him.

  2. Jeff says:

    “I mean, seriously, who doesn’t know that General Gage was marching on Concord to seize one of the arms caches the colonials had there?”

    People who went to public schools? I don’t know that I knew that was the primary issue until I went to an Appleseed event and learned about the events of 4/19/75. I’ve since read Halbrook’s The Founders Second Amendment and Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride and learned a lot more about it.

  3. terraformer says:

    Actually, the problem isn’t that her underlying statement is wrong (yes, Revere was working with others to prevent the seizure of arms and powder), but the specific facts are wholly wrong.

    Revere rode in secret to warn the Colonists that the British were coming. He did not ride to warn the british that they shouldn’t take our guns. Thank god he didn’t because he would not have been nearly as effective.

    Nor did he make a major ruckus on his ride. He went to specific rebel sympathizers homes and did not make grand pronouncements to all who would listen. Had he, the population of the western towns bordering Boston were filled with British sympathizers (still are by the way… :-) who would have worked to stop him and surely would have made sure he was arrested after the fact.

    So yes, she got her specific facts very wrong, despite the general tone and meaning of her words being correct.

  4. terraformer says:

    I just read the commentary at the site posted. God they are idiots. They and Palin have a lot in common. About zero intellectual knowledge of the topic they write about and a lot of passion for their il-informed views.

  5. SidViscous says:

    Hey at least the government is working very hard to get arms into the hands of private citizens.

    http://reasonedpolitics.blogspot.com/2011/04/hillary-eric-wikileaks-and-batfe.html

    Citizens of Mexico, yeah, but what the hell.

  6. Gee Wiz! I hope the British didn’t quarter any Soldiers in peoples homes.

  7. TerraFormer,

    Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. Paul Revere systematically activated a colonial defense network consisting or pre-existing institutions carefully cultivated through religious groups, political groups (Sons of Liberty), and other social networks. He also activated ad-hoc groups/individuals in towns and on the thoroughfares in an opportunistic manner.

    He was well known by the British prior to the incident. While he had tactical surprise he did not cloak his identity or mission once clear of the British pickets around Boston. He was in “friendly territory.” British sympathizers were few and far between. A British recon of several officers sent out into the countryside prior to the raid was warned to turn back by a few such loyalists, who urgently conveyed that the whigs were the majority and that the loyalists could not protect His Majesty’s officers.

    Moreover, Revere was even detained by a British patrol. During his detention, Revere spun a tail about the countryside coming to arms in order to protect the military supplies. His intent was to intimidate the British and induce them to report to their superiors that they had bit off more than could be chewed.

    This is well documented by David Fischer, a historian whose book on Trenton was recently on the Chief of Staff of the Army’s reading list (Paul Revere’s Ride).

    I suspect that Sarah Palin got a bit lucky in that her phrasing matches up with the actual history. I don’t know that she could paraphrase Fisher’s book. However, she is historically accurate.

  8. MikeSilver says:

    You can read General Gage’s orders and the after action reports here:

    http://www.winthrop.dk/reports.html

    The money quote from Gage is:

    you will March with a Corps of Grenadiers and Light Infantry, put under your Command, with the utmost expedition and Secrecy to Concord, where you will seize and distroy all Artillery, Ammunition, Provisions, Tents, Small Arms, and all Military Stores whatever

  9. Dannytheman says:

    Palin is looking pretty good to me. Better everyday! I have never been a one issue candidate, but she has impressed me the last 30 days more than in the last 3 years!

  10. Chas says:

    “…she may be pushing it too far to say this is a Second Amendment case.”

    It was one of the historical roots that inspired the Second Amendment and continues to inspire it today. She wasn’t “pushing” anything; she was simply being accurate.

    Paul Revere’s ride was literally a statement about “gun-grabbing” – that was his message. That was true then and is true now. Where’s the “revisionism”?

  11. MikeSilver says:

    She may have gotten lucky or she knows more than the media claims. At the time of the Revolution, the colonists were covered by the English Bill of Rights of 1689 which included:

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp

    That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;

    This document formed the basis for our Bill of Rights.

    If you look at that clause, you’ll see “as allowed by law”. That phrase is not in our Second Amendment. An impartial observer would assume that since “alllowed by law” was in the basis document and not in the current document, than that restriction was INTENTIONALLY not included.

    If you look at Sarah’s record of one-liners such as death panels, party like 1773, drill now, etc, you’ll see an intellectual depth very lacking in the press and government. That is why the media has devoted so much manpower to destroy her.

  12. Matthew Carberry says:

    She’s the queen of soundbite politics and I find her folksyness contrived and her oversimplification of the issues she actually seems to know about puerile.

    I wouldn’t vote for her (again) and in this case I think she flat got lucky. I don’t particularly like that’s she’s nominally on my side of most issues as her poor presentation is a hurdle I have to overcome in conversations about them.

    That said, the amount of time and energy the Left and the folks who hate her (like Anti-Palin ethics lawsuit princess Andrea McLeod – nominal R) expend on their obsession is phenomenal. It’s like they take her popularity as a personal affront. I don’t understand why they don’t just ignore her as lack of attention is (like well-framed, nuanced positions) her kryptonite.

    Anyway, for sheer concentrated Palin-hate poke around the local progressive blogs like The Mudflats and Progressive Alaska. These people need serious counseling for obsession and anger issues. It arguably is worse than the unreasoning hatred some folks have for Obama, at least he’s actually in a physical position to do something they fear.

  13. JayF says:

    Sebastian is right when he says: “Our opponents are either highly incredulous or ignorant to an astonishing degree. Maybe some combination of the two. Either way, the accusation that we’re attempting to rewrite history here is breathtaking in its ignorance, or outright hypocrisy.”

    However, Matthew Carberry may also have a good explanation of what is happening here. If Sarah Palin were to say that the sky is blue, there are those who would vociferously insist that she is wrong because color of the sky is azure.

  14. Stretch says:

    For most liberals history began with Clinton’s 1st term.
    A few believe history started 22 Nov. 1963.
    The Old Ones honor FDR for creating the world.

    Historical facts are irrelevant and totally subordinate to their Feelings.

    And Orwell’s Two Minute Hate has nothing on … well, name your cable show or web *Kos* site of choice.

  15. Brad says:

    Rewriting history? Of course they do. Our enemies know that if they can control the past they can use that to control the present.

    That’s why Bellesiles produced his propaganda book, “Arming America.” That’s why Obama and Saul Cornell helped to set up the propaganda organization, the “Second Amendment Research Center.” They thought if they could control the modern perception of our history they could use that power to destroy the Second Amendment.

  16. Shootin' Buddy says:

    Palin got “lucky” by knowing more about American history than the Media? So, Palin’s knowledge is based on luck. Then upon what is the Media’s knowledge based? Being Leftists?

    This is just like “party like it’s 1773”. The Left is composed of empty-headed morons. They waved Mercedes-Benz signs on their placards. They do not know when the Boston Tea Party transpired. They have no idea that Revere warned the British.

    They are morons and are easy to beat if we stand up to them instead of being worried about being invited to their cocktail parties in Georgetown.

  17. Chas says:

    If Palin gets in the White House, it’s going to be a glorious four years of daily PSH from the leftist media. I can’t wait. Let the fun begin!

  18. Alpheus says:

    “If Palin gets in the White House, it’s going to be a glorious four years of daily PSH from the leftist media.”

    Heck, if Palin stays in the limelight, it will be a glorious four years of daily PSH from the leftist media! I don’t know if I’d vote for her (well, I’d vote for her over Obama, I suppose)…but this is the one thing I like about her: she angers a lot of people, and drives them to senseless hysteria.

    I’m not sure I want her for President, though…

  19. Cormac says:

    I’m not a huge Palin fan, but before anyone blows this off as “getting lucky” or “coincidence,” shouldn’t we look at the possibility that she actually did know…?

    Hadn’t she just walked out of a museum which featured a Paul Revere exhibit?
    Is it possible that she read a book about Revere? More likely after it made a military reading list?
    Has she ever been to an Appleseed event? If not a public one, I’d be surprised if she and her family hadn’t at least been to some kind of private Appleseed event.

    So…did she get lucky? Was she just trying to draw a parallel between an old issue and one of her current concerns? Did she take a shot in the dark and hope to be able to B.S. her way past media scrutiny?

    Sure…it’s possible…if you believe she’s dumb enough to assume for a minute that the press would give her a fair shake (come on – one minute they say that she’s paranoid and *falsely* believes that they won’t treat her fairly, the next she’s trying to pull the wool over their eyes, thinking that she’ll get away with it?)

    hrmm…the cognitive dissonance is strong with the MSM…let’s try not to fall into it.

  20. Scott says:

    To all those above that support and defend the Palin Intellect and Historical Correctness, remember that highly intellectual (i.e. simple) questions like “what newspapers do you read” or “what Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with” were “gotcha” questions that totally flummoxed her. Yeah, she sure fooled us, it’s all part of her plan!

  21. Alpheus says:

    “I’m not a huge Palin fan, but before anyone blows this off as “getting lucky” or “coincidence,” shouldn’t we look at the possibility that she actually did know…?”

    I agree that we shouldn’t blow this off as “getting lucky”. Palin doesn’t strike me as the type that doesn’t know her history–or at least, doesn’t look it up before she spouts something like this off.

    It’s really funny to see someone come down hard on her for saying we should “Party like it’s 1773” or “Paul Revere was trying to stop gun confiscation” and then see the reaction: “Eeek! She doesn’t know her history!!!” only to have it pointed out that “The Boston Tea Party did happen in 1773, don’cha know?” or “The redcoats really were out to get the militia supplies kept in Concord.” It’s just fun to watch!

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