Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Thursday, September 11, 2008
  Oh My Freakin' God
It is truly terrifying to think that the person typing right now, a guy who cooks for a living, understands foreign policy better and has a far firmer handle on recent American history than the current Republican Vice Presidential nominee.

(Via TPM)

Charlie obviously forgets that when the Bush Doctrine was unveiled way back in 2002, Sarah was at a PTA Meeting, or was it a hockey game?
My pet pig has a better handle on foreign policy than Palin--even without lipstick.
She is the fluff in the peanut sandwich. And what is even more scary is the fact that half of the people in this country are buying into this shit! It has to be mass mental illness!
You don't.

Gibson was wrong to state that "the" Bush doctrine was that of preemptive war, and Palin was right to ask for him to explain what he meant.

There have been at least 4 doctrines which have been known as "The Bush Doctrine." In chronological order:

1. (pre 9/11) Unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol.

2. (immediate post 9/11) "any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

3. (pre Iraq) preemptive war

4. "The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

It was silly for Gibson to ask the question in the way he did, and for him to presume he had to inform Palin about what the term meant.
Dave, even after Gibson clarified the statement she yammered and hawed about worldviews and Islamic Terror.

She blew it.

Unlike the Freepers and Charles Krauthammer who have a case of disingenuous amnesia, the vast majority of the world remembers that vaunted "Bush Doctrine" in 2002 was "Pre-emptive War."

Keep spinnin.'
Indeed, Krauthammer agrees that that was what the Bush Doctrine was in 2002. The interview, however, was in 2008.
I remember when the meanings of the Monroe Doctrine and Truman Doctrine changed repeatedly too.


I read that Washington Post article, too. But, okay, let's run with that four-versions thing.

She didn't ask "which version?"

Then when she asked "in what respect," Gibson made clear which version he was talking about by dating.

But, okay, let's say she was still simply confused about which version he meant. She didn't give a response to ANY of those versions. She just gave a non-answer.

What seems equally important, and not noted nearly enough, is when he explained what he meant, she still didn't answer the question. I mean, just about everyone is in support of America defending itself from an "imminent" attack. But that wasn't the question. The question was about a major policy shift that has taken place during the last administration. McCain supports this policy shift. Plenty of others do, too. So, okay, so let's talk about that. But please answer the question that was asked.

(if, of course, you understand it).

Here's the thing, though. The more people talk about Palin's inexperience, or her poor grasp of foreign or domestic policy (like, say, not knowing what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are...), the more people love her. "Quit pickin' on our Sarah!" they say, feeling like the liberals are once again sneering at them.

There's no way to win this Sarah Palin argument. The more folks like Greg try to explain her contradictions or gaffes, the more the people who already love her adore her. We're just talking completely different languages.
There's no way to win this Sarah Palin argument. The more folks like Greg try to explain her contradictions or gaffes, the more the people who already love her adore her. We're just talking completely different languages.

I humbly disagree. There are about 30-odd percentage of voting Americans who fit this description. Then there are 30-odd percent who would never vote for her in a million years.

Then there are those in between.

The ones who will actually be swayed by the truth about her record and her obvious lies and gaffes are members of what is referred to as "the mushy middle." From now on every time they hear "Thanks but no thanks," etc... they will bristle.

Elections are won and lost by just a few percentages of voters swinging in one direction or the other. Within the next few weeks the notion that Palin is a liability rather than a plus will be in the majority.
Alli: I agree with your point about politicians' backers and opponents interpreting things through that prism, and thus not often changing their minds due to such statements.

Re: "What seems equally important... is when he explained what he meant, she still didn't answer the question. I mean, just about everyone is in support of America defending itself from an "imminent" attack. But that wasn't the question."

Evading a straight yes or no question by restating the question in slightly altered form is a standard part of "media training." Show me a politician or PR person who does not do it.

When a politician you like evades a question in such a way, you take it as proof of his political skill. When a politician you do not like does the same, you take it as proof of his villainy.

But all politicians do it.

For example, when Obama was asked about Clinton's charge that Obama had used "the race card" against Clinton, Obama (I think skillfully, as well as properly) said:

"Hold on a second. So former President Clinton dismissed my victory in South Carolina as being similar to Jesse Jackson and he is suggesting that somehow I had something to do with it? You better ask him what he meant by that. I have no idea what he meant. These were words that came out of his mouth. Not words that came out of mine."
It wasn't a restating of the question, it was babble.

Your analogy would be accurate if Palin had asked Charlie if Bush believed in the Bush Doctrine. She just danced around with words like "imminent" and "Terror."

You can view her answer through any prism you want. She gave a poor answer to serious question.
That's probably a fair criticism about how we see the indirect answers of those with whom we agree or disagree. Though John McCain has gone on record saying, quite directly, that he agrees with the Bush doctrine. The version that Charlie was talking about.

(that was back when I respected McCain, of course. Which I did, once, and not too long ago, either).

Greg, you may be right about the 30% numbers. I'm far enough in the WTF?! camp to honestly not know why everyone isn't there with me. I hope you're right.

On another topic, did you catch the SNL clip? Hilarious.
GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?

PALIN: I agree that a president’s job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.

I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people.

GIBSON: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike against another country if we feel that country might strike us?

PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.
Replay the video. The transcript doesn't do her flustered "Did I get it right?" act justice.

So now we agree, she had no clue what Charlie was talking about until he spelled it out and then she blabbed out "imminent threat," which is not what the 2002 Bush doctrine was.

If you recall we were going to take Saddam out **before** he became a threat because he had "capabilities". THAT was the Bush Doctrine of 2002.

You can muddy the water all you want.

I've seen the broadcast video. Do you have a link to an unabridged video? I would like to see it, because the broadcast video, and all the videos I've seen online, have been edited to cut out about half of what Palin said on this topic (including half the text I posted here), and it looks to me like that editing was designed to make her look more bellicose and irrational.

Full written transcripts (with those words edited out by the network shown in bold) are on line in several places, such as
I'm going to backtrack on my earlier comment. Because I was thinking about Newt Gingrich, whose positions I mostly deplore, but who makes me say, "wow, he's really skilled" and "gosh this guy is smart" every time I see him. Would I want him to be veep? Nope. But I have never seen him speak and found him unskilled, uninformed, and incoherent. I did feel that way about Palin.

Greg, I'm looking forward to your small shifts in the electorate post, as soon as my meeting's over.
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