Context matters

CONTEXT MATTERS…. In her closing statement last night, Palin relied on a pleasant sounding quote from Reagan:

“It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.”

Jonathan Chait noted the context of Reagan’s quote.

In fact, Reagan was not warning about a general lack of vigilance about freedom, he was warning what would happen if Medicare was enacted.

Oops. The McCain aides probably should have checked that one a little closer before handing Palin the script.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.