For Charles Krauthammer, The Freepers (and Dave, too)
It seems that Charlie has asked his "tough" question to a few people you might recognize on January 5th, 2008, long before he got all mean and nasty while interviewing subject of this week's People Magazine cover:
And Sarah Palin's running mate (what's his name again....?) had a coherent answer, albeit one I disagree with.
¶ 11:42 PM
Note that in this case Gibson didn't play pedantic gotcha games: he asked a specific question and defined what he meant while asking about the "Bush Doctrine."
McCain said simply "I do" and then went on to change the subject to the lack of attacks upon us since 9/11/01. Palin's answer contained more detail, including the word "imminent."
Neither you nor I can say whether Palin's nuance was added because of her consultation with McCain, or was her own opinion, given with or without knowledge of McCain's position, or was a way of making the doctrine more palatable without limiting its use to that condition.
It seems likeliest to me that in a Republican primary, the aim in answering the question is to look like you're agreeing with Bush, while the aim in a general election is to, rhetorically at least, distance yourself from anything labeled "Bush" even where you agree with him.
I suspect if McCain had given Palin's reponse, and vice-versa, you would now be attacking Palin for saying no more than "I do" out of ignorance.
"Neither you nor I can say whether Palin's nuance was added because of her consultation with McCain, or was her own opinion, given with or without knowledge of McCain's position, or was a way of making the doctrine more palatable without limiting its use to that condition."
I would simply disagree with Palin if she simply said "I do."
But she didn't and she made a mess of things. Gibson gave her the opportunity to express what her notion of the Bush Doctrine was/is and she blew it. Her comments on Bush's worldview made it all too clear that she was mentally lost for a moment until Gibson clarified the remark. And even then she gave a lousy answer.
However, I will grant that if she had given the end of her attempt to find the "right" answer after the first or second attempt by Gibson to get answer, it would have sat far better than her flailing.