For Whom the Bell Tolls, or, Francisco Franco Is Alive and Well and Living in Sarah Palin's Brain...
"Yo te quiero, o ma corazon...": ...the Halperin-Heilemann book... section about Sarah P.'s tutorials on history, because this idea had bubbled up on cable since Monday that she didn't know exactly what World War I and World War II were... this seemed a reach even to me... the passage in question describes an effort by certain campaign staffers to learn the gal some history. They walked her through the basics, including the two world wars. But the book doesn't say that she didn't know what they were (it also doesn't say that she did, so the question remains open).
But here's the interesting thing. The book says that the tutorial --delivered by two neocon stalwarts -- started with...not the first war, not the second, but the Spanish Civil War. The what? That's a really odd place of privilege for a war that the United States wasn't even involved in, except for the freelance Lincoln Brigades. I'm fairly snooty, I admit, about wanting a president who knows his or her history. But even I would say that lack of knowledge about the Spanish Civil War isn't something I'd consider disqualifying.
What can this mean? My guess is that the Spanish Civil War must obviously occupy some place of pride and prominence in the neocon psyche. The good fascist war, one might say. Or maybe it's more McCain specific: McCain's most beloved book is For Whom the Bell Tolls, his beau ideal Robert Jordan. But the implication of this would be that these two neocons gave Palin a lesson that tilted in support of the cause of the socialists and communists, which seems unlikely.
H & H didn't remark on this, but if their account is accurate, it's kind of amazing. Perhaps you can offer other interpretations.