Friday, September 12, 2008

The Bush Doctrine?

Wow. I haven’t seen such in-depth analysis of a single interview since, well, never. The pundits and media elites are dissecting Palin’s recent interview with Charles Gibson like a group of archeologists trying to determine the eating habits of an extinct civilization from a single fossil. You can’t help but think their conclusions will lack validity. I can just see the staff of the New York Times all sitting in front of a big-screen, notepads and laptops in hand, watching the interview over and over, rewinding then watching again in slow motion desperately looking for anything that would suggest a shortfall. “Ah-ha, she twitched her nose. Did you see that, she twitched there. Clearly she has no foreign policy expertise!”

Well, I’ll save them the trouble with this simple revelation: Sarah Palin has no foreign policy expertise! There ya go. I knew that already, so did everyone in this country who supports her bid for Vice President. Sarah Palin is a Governor, a job in which foreign policy experience is neither required NOR acquired. Governor’s govern their state – all 50 of which are within the United States and not a separate national entity - which generally means they’re not meeting with heads of state or formulating comprehensive strategies for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If a governor is doing these things, then that governor isn’t doing his/her job. And Sarah Palin has most definitely been doing her job and doing it well.

Governors run their state. They are basically the CEO. And Sarah Palin has done a damn fine job in her state for 2 years, which means that she is the only person on either ticket who has ever actually headed-up a government as the chief executive, a simple fact that the Dems often conveniently overlook. It’s also worth noting that four of our last five presidents were governors who entered Washington with no foreign policy experience. And since I’m pointing out the obvious, I’ll go ahead and say that Palin is not running for president, another fact the Dems somehow repeatedly overlook. She looked like a Vice President, forwarding the policy as determined by the top of the ticket where the foreign policy expertise is SUPPOSED to be!

We’ve only seen a portion of the interview, but so far I feel Palin did very well. She answered Gibson’s questions without dodging or redirecting. As expected, I agreed with her views on foreign policy which basically echoed those of McCain. Interestingly enough, the MSM is in a twist over the fact that she gave standard, “canned” answers straight from the McCain camp. Well, yeah. She IS his running mate and it’s McCain, after all, who will be determining US foreign policy. You know, like the law says. I think McCain knows better than to select a running mate who disagrees with him on foreign policy issues…but that’s just my simplistic way of thinking.

Then came the point that has all the Left dancing in glee. Gibson asked her about the Bush Doctrine. I immediately thought, “huh?” As in, “what’s the Bush Doctrine?” Palin asked him to be more specific, and he didn’t, referring instead to a speech Bush gave in 2002. I thought: “Sorry, I don’t remember that speech”. And neither did Palin. So she basically gave her impression of Bush’s strategy and objectives in the war on terror. No, that’s not what Gibson meant. He was referring to the policy of preemptive strikes on global threats. Oh! In that case! Palin then answered the question appropriately, and I once again agreed with her.

This was clearly a trap door that Gibson set for her. I follow politics pretty close and I’ve never heard the term “The Bush Doctrine”. Perhaps it will show up in history books one day, but I don’t think the strategy of preemptive attacks on potential threats is known nationwide, or even throughout political circles, as the Bush Doctrine. In fact, Bush isn’t even the first president to employ this strategy. For that matter, why isn’t it called the Clinton Doctrine? I was trying to think of some obscure policy that Bush Sr. had implemented, perhaps that’s what Gibson was referring to. Nope. Somehow he’s under the impression that everybody knows what the Bush Doctrine is, certainly the Governor of Alaska should. Clearly, Palin hadn’t gotten the memo either. And, again, most of her supporters would agree.

Gibson would have been more fair to ask: “What is your opinion on Bush’s core strategy of preemptive military strikes on potential global threats?”

But that’s not what he did and he looked like an egocentric journalist trying to trip up a candidate with a vague question rather than gather information for his viewers. Just my opinion. Conservatives will feel the same way, Liberals will see it as some sort of revelation that Palin isn’t qualified (even though they had no idea what the Bush Doctrine was either), thereby further demonstrating the disconnect these people have with everyday Americans who don’t live in the urban jungles of America’s two coasts. It’s those everyday Americans who will wonder why Gibson didn’t phrase the question appropriately, instead of trying to make the Governor look bad and please his media pals.

Palin certainly didn’t lose any voters with her answers, she may have even gained a few. She did well, responding to questions with poise and clarity, even when some of those questions were tough, like whether we should honor our NATO treaty obligation (this actually was an easy question, unless you’re a liberal who believes that honoring our treaties stops whenever bullets start flying).

Indeed, this interview was tougher than anything Barack Obama has faced, even from Bill O’Reilly, whose cupcake questioning was quite a disappointment for someone who likes his hard-hitting style. And it wasn’t filled with the usual “uh”, “um”, “I mean” and “you know” that seems to pepper any answer that Obama gives to a question he didn’t anticipate. Good thing no one analyzes his interviews like they’re doing to Palin’s.

I thought Gibson did well, understanding the difficult task he faced, with the exception of the lone trap that he set for her. I like how Palin handled it, no sign of frustration even after she recognized the trap for what it was. I also like that she stuck to her guns on ANWR, even though she knew McCain didn’t agree. I took it as an early sign that national politics isn’t shaping her core beliefs. That’s always a good thing.


Anonymous said...


"The Bush Doctrine." You can look it up in Wikipedia.


John Washburn said...

Even Karl Rove admitted on Fox last night that he wouldn't have answered the question correctly. And Rove should know a thing or two about the Bush doctrine.

Since this interview aired, I've heard at least 4 different definitions of the Bush doctrine. The current one, according to Charled Krauthammmer, is that the security of the US at home is dependent on the security of US interests and democracies abroad. That's not what Gibson was referring to, obviously.

The point is, it was an unfair question and only further demonstrates the elitism and "holier than thou" attitude of the Left, as Gibson peered over his spectacles on Palin like she were giving some sort of undergrad oral exam. Pathetic.

If there was a gaffe, it was on Gibson' part who apparently didn't define the term appropriately.


Dr Washburn, I've just posted Charles Krauthammer's view of the 'Bush Doctrine'. (Your friend Loop Garoo might not approve). reb

Allison said...

I thought that she acted throughout the entire interview as if she was being attacked, which to me only made it seem like she was hiding something. She expected him to ask her things she wouldn't know the answers to, because well, there are a lot of things she doesn't know the answers to. I thought that the interview was pitiful, at best. There were several factual errors in the things that she said, and every college student that I have talked to (because I'm a college student myself) was shocked that she didn't know what the Bush Doctrine is.
I have also seen Bill O'Reilly's interview of Obama, and I much prefer when a reporter doesn't yell over the person who's being interviewed. I don't know how you Bill O'Reilly watchers can stand that, it doesn't prove anything. Charlie Gibson asked Palin things that the general public wants to know. There is a chance, you do realize, that she could very well be president at some point within the next four years. And her supporters are asserting that she'd fit to handle Russia because it can be seen from an Alaskan island? Seriously? Sorry, but that sounds like the biggest stretch I've ever heard.


Allisoni, along with many others, conveniently missed Krauthammer's

ABC's Charlie Gibson didn't know what the unambiguous Bush Doctrine
was about!

But that is often the case with freshman college students; snap judgments without a thorough analysis seems to be a current emotional trait.

I offer S/H latest post on this matter, for your thoughtful examination...and comment. reb

John Washburn said...

Allison, if your fellow coeds apparently "knew" about the Bush doctrine and are surprised Palin didn't, then they are obviously displaying their own ignorance on the subject since, as I've pointed out, what Gibson defined as the Bush doctrine is not the proper definition. Is it possible their "shock" is only partisanship disguised as something else?

Thought that was worth pointing out.

Allison said...

It's not the "proper" definition? According only to you, it seems. It was used one other time to express something different, and that is what your argument falls back on. Sorry, that doesn't really work for me. I am not ignorant and neither are any of my "fellow coeds," and I really will not stand for you saying that.

John Washburn said...

Allison, I didn’t mean it as an insult. As noted, I was also ignorant on the subject and so were many others, which is exactly why we weren’t “shocked” that Palin didn’t answer the question to Gibson’s liking. Karl Rove admitted he couldn’t answer the question, as did David Prager of Human Events, a man steeped in international affairs with over 30 years of experience and knowledge of the area. He actually called the Bush Doctrine a term “bereft of meaning”.

I was just wondering how you and your friends can claim knowledge of the subject when men like this claim ignorance and say the term has no meaning. After all, if anyone is familiar with the Bush Doctrine it should be Karl Rove, right? It seems to me that anyone seeking higher learning would at least educate themselves on the topic before expressing “shock” that someone is ignorant of a meaningless term. And it seems that these same people wouldn’t take issue with me when I point out they haven’t properly educated themselves on the topic. Unless, of course, their “shock” was driven more by partisan politics which is what I suspect. I think the unbiased opinion would follow that of David Prager, who has defended some of Barack Obama’s misquoted words, and said that Gibson’s question was a trap and was unfair. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind partisanship. But it shouldn’t be used to portray Palin as unqualified or lacking in knowledge. Basically, she has as much understanding of the Bush doctrine as Karl Rove and David Prager. That certainly doesn’t qualify as a shocking lack of knowledge.


The Op Ed by Charles Krauthammer, Sept 13, precisely identifies TWO presidential doctrines. (Hello!)

JFK's AND G.W.Bush. Both are, need I say, wonderfully Pro-American & Non-partisan?

See Krauthammer's 'Charlie Gibson's Gaffe' *(You may find it on my weblog, Allison. It may serve to cool a badly bruised & recently wounded partisan vanity).

Nothing in recent times has so energized the female voter quite like Governor Palin; It's Fabulous, plus Innnn-credible!

History is unfolding before your eyes. Enjoy it, every minute!

Watch the polls. reb

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