Palin interview: Don’t Blink

Part of the Gibson/Palin interview is up at Shakesville – click through to Shakes for a transcript, or scroll down for video.

Did Sarah Palin really not know what the Bush Doctrine was, or was she just avoiding the question? Because she came across as simply not knowing what he was talking about. She reminds me less and less of Margaret Thatcher (the popular comparison in the newsmedia), and more and more of Pauline Hanson.

I found the whole thing stone-cold terrifying, from start to finish. And this with all that rehearsal and coaching time, and with the interview in a time, place and setting of her choosing.

It’s Friday. I got nothing else but a *headdesk*. I hope y’all have a great weekend.

[note: feel free to use the image (attributed), but not to hotlink it.]

Categories: Politics, violence

Tags: ,

34 replies

  1. I have a piece of advise for the Democrats they won’t listen to anyway, but still: stop spending money in an attempt to prevent the Greens and other progressive parties from getting on the ballot, and instead spend it on ensuring that your supporters actually go out and VOTE on election day.
    Around 50% of eligible voters in the USA actually bother to turn up to the ballot box. I’m not an expert in demographics, but from what I’ve read it sounds to me that many of those who stay home would vote Democrat if someone would convince them to 1) register to vote and 2) go to a polling booth on the day.
    Now that Palin has energised the rabid right-wing Republican base, the Democrats need to match this now or preprare to deal with a President McCain and Vice President Palin.

  2. Yep, I’ve been thinking Pauline Hanson too– except with the backing of a major party. This was very “Please explain,” and like that incident, it’s only going to endear her to a good number of voters.

  3. She most certainly did not know what the Bush doctrine was. Her position was to completely agree with it, therefore not answering the question the first time was not an attempt to play coy. This is a shining example of the fact that this woman is not prepared to lead. I had a laugh last week when condi stopped short of calling her incompetent.
    Renees last blog post..The Audacity of Whiteness

  4. She drew a complete blank at that point, didn’t she? And transparently so.
    I really wish that one day someone will follow up the “Mistakes were made” blither with “Which mistakes?”, and pursue the question.

  5. On the upside, surely there’s a David Tennant/Weeping Angels/Quantum Locking tie-in lulz to be had here for an enterprising photoshopper?

  6. I’m eagerly awaiting one, Amanda! I haven’t had the perfect caption strike me yet, but I’m hoping that the gestalt of the interwebs will come to the rescue in short order.

  7. Biden is going to eat this woman alive at the debate. I wonder how many questions she will pretend to understand. It is clear that some people just should not speak without their handlers…I am taking way to much joy in this faux pas.

  8. I’d agree with Renee, I genuinely don’t think she knew what he meant but then nor did I – my first thought was ‘which one’? That doesn’t mean she didn’t know about Bush’s policy of preemption, just that she hadn’t heard it referred to specifically as “The Bush Doctrine” before. She’s a practical state governor, not a political theorist/analyst. I don’t think it’s a negative reflection on her overall ability. Condie’s probably just jealous that it isn’t her.

  9. DEM, it’s not exactly rarefied theory or ancient history. As I said elsewhere, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for a second-in-command to be expected to have a better-than-Wikipedia knowledge of 21st-century US military history. I don’t use my own knowledge as a minimum standard – I expect a Pres/Veep to know orders of magnitude more than I do about this!
    We’re discussing readiness. The election is fewer than two months away. Palin claims outright to be ready, and says she didn’t hesitate at the invitation; and in a Veep role that means ready to be Commander in Chief. If the Republicans win, she _will_ have her finger on the metaphorical button sometime in the next four years, because no way will someone as old as McCain go that long without so much as a twilight sleep.
    If she was not-quite-ready but showed a clear willingness to learn and a lack of hubris about her own knowledge and ideas, that might at least be a start. Instead, she is spouting Crusade nonsense about God’s task. I find that spine-chilling.

  10. Oh Jebus! Beginning to end. WTF? So much circular language devoid of real content as regards any actual answers to the questions posed. My fav line was I think “It was the trip of a lifetime and it changed my life”. Just cos it sums up the circularity and resounding cavernous emptiness of the rest of it so succinctly. And, what’s with “it’s God’s plan” then “we can’t know” God’s plans/will stuff. Sigh. Going to bed.

  11. All I know is that the big conservative pundit here called Charles Gibson ‘a big tool’ for this interview…so I want to see what comes of that.
    Except I don’t want to have a stroke.

  12. We thought ‘Pauline Hanson’ too.

  13. I’ve not heard it called ‘the Bush Doctrine’ either, to be fair, and I take a serious interest in this sort of stuff. ‘Doctrine of Preemption’, yes, or even the fluffy ‘Project for the new American Century’, but not the ‘Bush Doctrine’.
    It may become the ‘Bush Doctrine’ in the same way that other American presidents/leaders have given their name to a particular foreign policy practice (Monroe Doctrine, Dulles’ ‘World Chastity Belt of Treaties’, Kissinger’s various efforts) but that will probably have to wait until Bushie is no longer Prez.
    skepticlawyers last blog post..A Comedy of Manners

  14. I thought the “Bush Doctrine” was very well established. At least, I’ve heard it mentioned many times and I knew what he was referring to.

  15. Lauredhel at #10 reminds me that I noticed Palin doesn’t know what hubris is either. Which is sort of tidy and circular, not unlike the lifetime/life thing.
    And oh dear God she says ‘nucular’ too.

  16. She’s saying what she’s been told to say. The coachers would have gone through all possible questions and given her the Right Answer. I would like to think as an individual she is more reflective — who knows. “I never blink” is chilling, but probably less political controversial than “I have doubts.”
    I mean, when I heard Biden say that thing about Clinton yesterday I thought it was uncontroversially generous to a friend and colleague, politically smart and pretty straightforward, and yet look around, it’s being put down as a “gaffe.” Give no quarter might be the smartest thing.
    I’m taking the day of the Vice Pres debate off work — if anyone in Sydney wants to come by and watch on CNN with me mid morning, I’m laying on popcorn, meatloaf, Sam Adams and apple pie. 😉

  17. Scepticlawyer – while you may not heard of it, most US politicians with an interest in foreign policy are well aware of both the doctrine itself and the term “Bush Doctrine” which has been in fairly common use in foreign policy circles there. Bush hasn’t had to wait until later to see the doctrine assigned with his name.
    It has even been the subject of a number of scholarly works and monographs.
    Anyone running for the office of President or Vice President should be able to explain at least what it is, and what the implications are if they win office – ie, will they adopt it.
    If Obama or Biden were to answer in the same manner, they would deserve the same level of incredulity. In fact its a good all round question to ask candidates to assess their intent in external relations.
    Grendels last blog post..Broad – or not

  18. I’m taking the day of the Vice Pres debate off work — if anyone in Sydney wants to come by and watch on CNN with me mid morning, I’m laying on popcorn, meatloaf, Sam Adams and apple pie. 😉

    Amanda, I am so there.

  19. I’m “lucky” enough to actually have a log of my discussion while Lissa and I were watching this. I’d put it in here but it basicly boils down to
    [erin] WTF
    [Lissa] WTF WTF OMG
    [erin] Oh come ON!
    [Lissa] We are going to be neck deep in wars
    (repeat repeat repeat)
    [erin] wait.. did she just say that man’s actions are at least partially to blame for global warming? And she still wants to drill? **twich**

  20. I find it amusing watching the GOP bend over backwards trying to prove that she understood the question. This is not some sort of rare term. If she didn’t know what it meant and she is being rightly called on it. This is more of the don’t believe your eyes and ear, believe what I tell you to believe.
    Renees last blog post..The Audacity of Whiteness

  21. Speaking of wiki Lauredhel, even that font of all ignorance defines the Bush Doctrine as “a term used to describe various related foreign policy principles of United States president George W. Bush, enunciated in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.”

    Instead, she is spouting Crusade nonsense about God’s task. I find that spine-chilling.

    Americans are often more comfortably up front about their Christianity than is socially acceptable in the UK or Australia. She believes God has a plan that will lead to a positive outcome – that’s her religion – but she did not say “and this is it”, in fact she made sure to qualify that she doesn’t have any special insight about whether these choices are part of it. I thought that showed appropriate humility.

  22. Actually the “God’s Plan” thing is one of the few bits I think she’s being called on unfairly… or at least inaccurately. What she ask for was for people to pray with her that the leaders plan for the troops is gods plan.
    This has two interpretations for me… a fairly benign one, “I hope what they are doing is what god wants.” Yes it’s Christian, but urm… it’s a Christian church. I can get over that one. The other interpretation creeps me out more. “Please pray with me that our leaders are focusing on implementing God’s plan.” Given the churches dominionist ties, makes me absolutely petrified.
    Personally I feel that, “Pray that the president is pursuing setting up a worldwide Christian theocratic nation” is creepier than, “Pray for our soldiers in this holy war.” I don’t know that I can bring myself to give her the benefit of the doubt on her intent.

  23. a term used to describe various related foreign policy principles of United States president George W. Bush
    But Palin said that she thought it was his general worldview. She had no idea that it even related to foreign policy. And again, a potential VP should probably know a bit more about the issue than Wikipedia.

  24. Deus Ex Macintosh – you’ve picked one statement out of the wikipedia entry – and presenting that statement on its own actually places it out of context – expecially in light of the further analysis that follows.

    The phrase initially described the policy that the United States had the right to treat countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups as terrorists themselves, which was used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan.[1] Later it came to include additional elements, including the controversial policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate (used to justify the invasion of Iraq), a policy of supporting democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating the spread of terrorism, and a willingness to pursue U.S. military interests in a unilateral way.[2][3][4] Some of these policies were codified in a National Security Council text entitled the National Security Strategy of the United States published on September 20, 2002.[5]

    One of the strengths of wikipedia is that anyone can edit it – unfortunately that does open it up to abuse and ‘changing the facts to fit the statement” in political campaigns.
    There have been hundreds (now approaching 1000) edits to that article in the immediate aftermath of governor Palin’s .
    Grendels last blog post..Broad – or not

  25. That Wikipedia entry is currently the subject of an edit war in the wake of the interview. That particular entry you point out is discussed in the talk page as an edit that has been added specifically to try to prop up Palin against her detractors.
    The “God’s task” shit still terrifies me, and will continue to do so, no matter what side of politics it comes from. (Though obviously the Republicans have a stronger recent history of wielding this in various ways in their warmaking activities.) No, I don’t find it “comfortable” at all, and nor should anyone who believes that the separation of church and state is there for a reason.
    The simplest thought-experiment that shows it up is to imagine the US public’s reaction if she were a Muslim governor making the same speech to her mosque. They’re only “up front” about Christianity because of its extreme dominance and unacceptable entanglement with public life.

  26. I’ve found a simple way around the Wikipedia issue when debating a point – I don’t search with Google, I search with Google Scholar. This skips all the tertiary sources and goes straight to primary and secondary sources that form the basis of later Wikipedia articles.
    For example:

    On 1 June 2002 President George W. Bush articulated his administration’s primary justification for the Second Gulf War, what become known as the Bush Doctrine of Preemption. This doctrine holds that it is politically, legally and morally defensible for the United States to use force against a perceived foreign foe in order to prevent future harm against itself, even though that perceived foreign foe has not yet attacked the United States.

    Weber, Cynthia. 2005. “Securitising the Unconscious: The Bush Doctrine of Preemption and Minority Report.” Geopolitics 10, no. 3: 482-499. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 12, 2008).
    This is pretty unambiguous in terms of what the Bush Doctrine is. Bonus points for the peer review process also.
    I know that using Google Scholar often leads to user pays content, however anyone who is studying will likely have access to this content via their electronic library access. If you are not studying perhaps you know someone who is.
    The result is a much more stable basis for argument. It is always instructive however to watch the rapidity of change during a Wikipedia edit war.
    Grendels last blog post..Happy Roald Dahl Day!

  27. lauredhel: yeah, I’m not comfortable with it either, but I can understand praying that your leaders have made the right choice. Of course… what THEY consider the right choice is likely nothing near what I would.

  28. Polerin: I’m not against people praying that their leaders (or themselves) have made the right choice. Being against that would be a fundamental violation of freedom of religion.
    What I do have a problem with is elected leaders publicly praying about public policies while performing in their role as public leaders. This is where the breakdown in separation starts.

  29. It is always instructive however to watch the rapidity of change during a Wikipedia edit war.

    Indeed, and anyone who doesn’t read the Discussion pages on controversial topics is missing out on reams of fascinating sociology.
    Thanks for the cite, Grendel.

  30. A completely eviscerating expose on Palin comes from the New York Times this week, proving that at least some of the media’s not asleep. It’s long, but totally worth the read, if only because you’ll be gaping in open-mouthed shock.

  31. Here’s something worth looking at in relation to Sarah Palin and Obama This is your Nation on White Privilege.


  1. Otterday! And Open Thread at Hoyden About Town
%d bloggers like this: