Sarah Palin, Paul Revere, and The Longfellow Bridge

Posted on
Aug 3, 2011

Hey Sarah.

How’s it going? I know, I know – you’re probably still mad at me about that Halloween costume from a few years ago, right? But come on. It was a really good costume, and I’m cursed with not really looking like anyone famous, so this was my one chance, you know? Plus, everyone dressed up as you that year.

I guess it didn’t help that I had Rand dress up like a moose.

Can we at least agree that I looked really cute?

Because we don’t really agree on much else. I’m a bleeding heart liberal who thinks that medical insurance should be free for everyone, paid for by taxing the hell out of the wealthiest one percent of the population. But we can find common ground, right? We both love to eat meat, for example. And we both get caught saying idiotic things (look, if I can admit it, babe, you can, too.)

Plus, I know exactly what it’s like to have carved out a very specific niche for yourself only to have someone step in and try to claim it for themselves. You had the monopoly on the sexy conservative I’m-just-an-average-American angle. And then Bachmann came along.

It’s like that time in high school when I had billed myself as the fun, quirky, weird girl and then I met a girl who WAS MORE FUN AND MORE QUIRKY AND MORE WEIRD THAN I.

It sucked.

I can’t really help you with that bit, but I can help you with this whole “Paul Revere was warning the British” thing that you got yourself into. (What’s that? That’s old news? It happened positively ages ago and it’s not worth talking about now? Well, tough patooties. I’m really behind on my blog so I’m addressing it.) First off, know that I’m not judging you (okay, fine. I am. A little bit. I think you should have just bit your lip and admitted that you were wrong.) You definitely have my sympathies – after all, I say things like that all the time. I proudly like to say that my favorite amendment is the First, and back when I was an idealistic and rebellious journalism student I wanted it tattooed on my body. But ask me to quote the First Amendment, and I pretty much peter off after “Congress shall make no law …”

So while I may have laughed bemusedly while you stumbled over what the heck Paul Revere did that night, I also cringed in sympathy. And I have a solution. There is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called “Paul Revere’s Ride” and it describes what happened on that night so many years ago.

And what’s better? It’s actually painted on the Longfellow Bridge in Boston. Rand and I saw it last time we were there.

You wouldn’t even have to memorize it!

It’s only up temporarily. The artist who painted it used non-toxic acrylics, so it will hold up for a little bit, but eventually it will fade and start to wash away (a concept which is quite poetic in and of itself). But I really think you should go see it, Sarah. Imagine if you had gone right after this whole fiasco. If you had stood on the bridge, with a group of schoolchildren and a well-informed historian, listening to the history of Paul Revere’s ride.

And afterwards, you could have shrugged and made a crack about how you’re never too old to learn something, and that you, personally, are never to proud to admit that you were wrong. Holy crap. The people would go crazy for it, Sarah. That’s the kind of stuff that will get you elected, or at least get you a much longer-running TV show.

Actually, you know what? Forget what I said before. Sympathies aside, I still am a bleeding heart liberal, after all.

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