Sunday, September 14, 2008
The Democrats and journalists who ridicule Sarah Palin for asking Charlie Gibson what he meant when he asked her whether she agreed with the "Bush Doctrine" might be interested in this exchange with Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, a political liberal (albeit fairer than most academics), and short-lister for an important foreign policy post in the Obama administration.
Unless, of course, they have already made up their mind.
Sometimes my fellow Dems tick me off. It was an idiotic attempt to expose her limited foreign policy knowledge. At least the Repubs now know what it is like to be at the receiving end of Charlie Gibson's ridiculous questions (as per the Clinton/Obama debate in Philadelphia).
The only positive way I can think of the exchange is that Gibson knew there was no correct answer, except for Palin to challenge him and say the phrase "Bush Doctrine" could refer to as many as 7 different policy approaches. But that seems unlikely.
I thought nominee Palin was well within her rights to ask Gibson what exactly he meant by "Bush Doctrine." I wasn't quite sure what he meant either. Did he mean exercising the right to go into countries to either kill or kidnap terrorists for interrogation? Did he mean injecting ourselves militarily in dangerously failed or failing states and replacing tyrannical rule with representational government? Did he mean promoting democracy and western values as an antidote to Islamic radicalism generally? Did he mean supporting democracy generally, even in the former Soviet republics? Or did he mean only, as indicated after the fact, pre-emptively intervening to remove dangerous (and, btw, not necessarily 'imminent') threats?
A gentleman--not to mention, well-meaning and effective interviewer--would have gladly answered Palin's question as soon as she asked it. He would not have waited until after she failed to answer it to his satisfaction and only then given his definition in a seeming attempt to show her up.
The crux if the problem is that there is no such thing as "The Bush Doctrine." As the above linked article
indicates, everybody has his or her own interpretation.
I always thought the "Doctrine" was a construction of Norman Podhoretz for his book :
1. An end to moral equivalence between terrorists and their victims (especially the US)
2. A goal of destroying the terrorist network around the world by whatever means necessary, including, but not limited to the overthrow of regimes giving safe haven to terrorism.
3. Assertion of the right of the US to pre-empt.
"If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long..."
4. Setting of terms for the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that insisted upon the renunciation of terrorism by Palestinian leaders in order for the US to recognize an independent Palestinian State.
A gentleman--not to mention, well-meaning and effective interviewer--would have gladly answered Palin's question as soon as she asked it
Oh ferchristsakes, sirius. He's a g*d damn member of the press, and it's his job to press politicians on their positions, and their grasp of issues. If Charlie Gibson had asked Biden or any other man man running for office the same questions would you preface your complaint with "A gentleman would have..."
Regarding having "already made up their mind":
Yup. I see someone who puts evolution and creationism on even vaguely the same foothold as someone who has a steep credibility incline to overcome.
Supplement this with a disdain for rights
and her touting of abstinence-only education
and her disdain for stem cell research and leaving gay people well enough alone
and I know as much as I need to about her thoughts on science, statistics, inflicting religion on others and constitutional government. She may not be running for school board, but these positions do speak to her problem-solving and her stance on science and areligious governance, things I happen to like quite a bit.
Those are typical conservative social positions that (I think) are held even by George Bush. You know, the Christo-fascist tyrant of the last 8 years who enjoyed a same-party Congressional majority for much of his terms.
In that time, stem cell research has advanced, gays have obtained the right to marry in two states, and we have somehow avoided having theocratic dogma shoved down the throats of our public institutions.
Just something to mull.