As ThinkProgress reported, during a June 2 stop in Boston on her “One Nation” bus tour, Sarah Palin managed to spectacularly flub the historical account of Paul Revere’s famed “Midnight Ride.” Describing Revere as warning “the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells and, uhm, making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells,” Palin’s version inspired confusion and some much-deserved jibes from across the media.
None of this has deterred Palin herself, however. This morning on Fox News Sunday, she doubled down on her creative re-imagining of Paul Revere’s ride, saying “I didn’t mess up.”
CHRIS WALLACE: I gotta ask you about that real quickly, though. You realize that you messed up about Paul Revere, don’t you?
PALIN: You know what? I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere. Here’s 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 so got to make sure that, uh, we were protecting ourselves and, uhm, shoring up all of our ammunitions and our firearms so that they couldn’t take them.
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 gonna beat our own well-armed, uh, persons, uh, 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.
If Palin knows her American history, this latest bit of jujitsu shows no evidence of it. The purpose of Revere’s ride was to inform John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and other colonial American patriots that the British Army was marching from Boston to Lexington. As such, secrecy and stealth were essential. So contrary to Palin’s claim that Revere warned the British they would not succeed, Revere attempted to avoid all contact with British troops or British loyalists already living in the colonies. The entire point of Revere’s mission was to inform the patriots of the British movements without the British knowing they were being informed.
At one point in the night, Revere was temporarily detained and interrogated by British soldiers at a roadblock. He intentionally provided them a falsely inflated description of the colonial militia’s strength, though only in the most strained metaphorical reading could this be considered a “warning.”
Furthermore — again due to the need for secrecy and stealth — Revere used no bells or warning shots, and delivered his message in face-to-face contacts throughout the night. (Palin seems to simply forget her creative inclusion of the bells and warning shots in her initial recounting.)