Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Republicans and Historical Revisionism - We shouldn't be surprised that Palin and her minions tried to twist history to suit her view

Robert Schlesinger at U.S. News & World Report has written something interesting about Republicans' tendency to alter history to suit their own views. Schlesinger begins:
Listen my children, and you won't be failin' basic American history like Sarah Palin. Hardly a man is alive who is not aware of the former vice presidential candidate's recent quote, uttered with little care. The great patriot, she rambled, "warned the British that they weren't gonna be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells and making sure, as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots that we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free."

Thus was ignited the second battle of Lexington and Concord, with Palin and her partisans exchanging volley after ridiculous volley with not only the press but history itself. She insists that she knows her history better than those fusty, liberal old lamestream historians. (Joel J. Miller, author of The Revolutionary Paul Revere, wrote in the certifiably conservative National Review Online that "From Revere's own account, it's clear that he didn't fire a shot, he didn't ring a bell, and he didn't intend to warn the British of anything," adding, "In short, Palin basically got the whole story wrong.") [Vote now: Is Palin making a mistake by standing by her Paul Revere statements?]

Palin's minutemen made their stand on Wikipedia, editing Revere's entry there to fit Palin's view of reality. The whole squabble perfectly reflects a political culture where such absurdist rejection of reality has become endemic—especially on the right. It used to be said of conservatism that it stood athwart history and yelled "stop." Increasingly it seems to stand beside reality while hitting the "edit" button. [Check out political cartoons about Palin.] ...
Schlesinger goes on to describe Republicans' editing impulse on medicare, economic history and tax cuts, and the debt ceiling. Schlesinger's description of the tax cuts and budget deficits really illustrates best how out of touch with the reality of their own policies the Republicans actually are.

Schlesinger's article is "Republicans Edit History on Paul Revere, Taxes, Debt:
Rejection of reality has become endemic to politics—especially on the right

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who better to lead the charge against women's issues and children's education and health than a former half-term governor who happens to be female and a mother? It's brilliant.