Gideon Rachman has a column in today’s Financial Times in which he blames conservatism’s current plight on Ronald Reagan. His thesis is about as oversimplified as the mindset he critiques, but in quoting this passage from Game Change, Rachman reveals an unsuspected reason why Palin may not know much about history, even after briefings by presumably highbrow advisers:

“They sat Palin down at a table in the suite, spread out a map of the world, and proceeded to give her a potted history of foreign policy. They started with the Spanish civil war, then moved on to world war one, world war two, the cold war … When the teachers suggested breaking for lunch or dinner, the student resisted. ‘No, no, no, let’s keep going,’ Ms. Palin said. ‘This is awesome’.” [Emphasis added.]

There might be a reason why Palin’s preceptors would start with the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s then move back 20 years to World War I. But I wonder what it could be.