Sep 12, 2008

Palin doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is

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.

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.

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: 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.

Here's how out of her depth she was: you don't even have to know what the Bush doctrine is to know she was riding a wave of purest seat-of-your-pants horseshit. First the long pause, then the counter-question to buy more time ("In what respect Charlie?"). Followed by a broad guess ("His world view"?). And then the clincher: even when Gibson spells it out for her, she still starts talking about something else altogether, good old-fashioned self-defence rather than pre-emption. The thing I find most revealing, though, is the ice in her voice when she asks "In what respect Charlie?" That's a very talented liar at work, unblinking and direct, masking weakness with immediate threat: Are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure, Charlie? Okay...... In that at least, Bush would be proud.

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