Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Bush Doctr...the what now?

Sarah Palin flubbed a foreign policy question about the Bush Doctrine in her one and only interview to date, and conservative commentators, including Australian ones on the Sunday morning TV I was watching yesterday, have scrambled to defend her, saying how incredibly complex and arcane the whole definition of the "Bush Doctrine" is, and she can't possibly be expected to effectively answer such an obvious "gotcha" question like that.

I'm not going to waste even a second with the irrelevant charade of the Bush Doctrine's "complex definition". The fact is that Palin would have to demonstrate that she'd even heard of the Bush Doctrine before it's possible to get into the question of whether she understands it. She failed to do so:
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view.

Um, no. Besides the obvious initial stall for time and attempt to pump for more information to obscure the fact that she has no idea what was just asked of her ("In what respect, Charlie?"), the fact that she guesses that it has something to do with Bush's "worldview" tells me that she had no concept that the "Bush Doctrine" even existed, let alone what it was. In fact, the confusion demonstrates that she is unaware of the concept of foreign policy "doctrine" at all.

Bottom line: when Charlie Gibson asked Sarah Palin what she thought of the Bush Doctrine, she didn't even know it was a question about foreign policy until Charlie Gibson told her it was.

Edit: oh, and to pre-empt (heh) what I expect to be the most likely line of defense, please don't waste your time and mine if all you're going to do is "use enhanced interrogation tactics" on the definition of "worldview".

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