Let me finish tonight with Sarah Palin's midnight ride with American history.
I have a theory about this person. I don't think she's all that interested in American history. If she were, she would know more of it.
What she wants is bad news about America. What excites her isn't politics - the debate of one side against the other, Republicans vs. Democrats, liberals vs. conservatives.
What she wants, as I said, is bad news about America. What excites her is not the chance to participate or lead in government. She quit government, dumped it really. She had other interests.
No. Palin is out to cause trouble. She wants people to be mad at politicians, mad at government, mad at the people who report on government. She wants unhappiness with politics and government to dominate the airwaves, dominate the conversation, dominate the country's mood.
She wants us to think about the government the way the early colonists thought about the British back in England. She wants us to arm ourselves so that we can fight the Red Coats. She wants us to live in a state of relentless simmering rebellion - ever angry, ever mistrustful, eve detesting the people we've elected to run the government, the people who cover the people in government. She wants us to believe toward the government the way angry middle-aged bikers look at government - as the enemy.
This is why she gives off this weird rendition of Paul Revere's ride. It wasn't to the colonists which way the British were coming. It was to warn the British that they can't take away our muskets, the muskets we carry to, you guessed it, fight the British. She acts as if we haven't had self-government in this country since 1788, that we've been holding elections every two years for Congress, every four for President like clockwork. She acts and talks and signals in every way possible that we are living under a tyranny imposed on us.
This is why the 2012 election is not about who will lead us but whether we are ready to vote against the belief we are governing ourselves: what a negative, self-defeating proposition, what a strange reason for remaining in public life. She gets the history wrong because she gets the United States wrong. We "are" a self-governing country and the people who matter are the ones who help us do it, not the ones who attack but do not lead.