One More Fact Check in Sarah Palin’s New Book

Nov 29, 2010 12:22pm

ABC's John Berman  reports: I am not picking on Sarah Palin for making the kind of misstatement we all make all the time.  Sarah Palin clearly knows   which Korea is the ally of the United States. No, I found a small historical error when I was reading her new book, “America by Heart,” and I merely wanted to point it out.  It’s not because I think it is a grievous error, or because I think it reflects poorly on Palin; no, it is just a tiny bit interesting.  A teeny tiny bit. On page 189 of “America by Heart,” Palin is in the midst of a lengthy and thoughtful discussion about the role of religion in America, and American history.  Among other things, she spends time praising Mitt Romney for his speeches on this subject.    But on page 189, she is writing about the opinions of Founding Father John Adams, including his famous quotation, “we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.”   Her mistake is not in her analysis of the importance of faith to John Adams.  No, her error came in claiming that he had been a “leading participant at the Constitutional Convention.” John Adams did a lot of stuff.  He was President, Vice President, a Massachusetts lawyers, and one of the architects of the Declaration of Independence.  But one thing he most decidedly did NOT do, was take part in the Constitutional Convention.  He was Ambassador to Great Britain at the time.  Thomas Jefferson skipped out too; he was in France.  While Adams may have communicated some with the likes of Madison, Gerry, Hamilton and even Washington who were at the Convention, he was not as Palin suggests, “a leading participant” there.  He didn’t participate there at all. It changes next to nothing about what Palin writes, and proves nothing one way or the other about her interpretation of Adams or our Founding Fathers.  All it really proves is that every once in a while, I read carefully.  Please don’t beat me up now.

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