Friday, September 12, 2008

Palin Blew It

Okay, I haven't listened to the entire Sarah Palin interview by ABC's Charles Gibson. But what I heard in the first installment was rather disappointing. Here's a woman who comes out of nowhere, apparently espousing virtues that resonate with me and a whole lot of other people. Then when she sits down to interview, she provides nothing but talking points and soundbites.

I guess what irked me the most was her answer to Gibson's question on climate change:
Regardless, though, of the reason for climate change, whether it's entirely, wholly caused by man's activities or is part of the cyclical nature of our planet – the warming and the cooling trends – regardless of that, John McCain and I agree that we gotta do something about it...
Might as well say, "I don't understand it. Maybe there's and issue here, maybe not. But we have to do something about it, right?" I'm surprised she didn't throw in a plea to help the children for good measure. I wish politicians would stop kowtowing to environmental political correctness. Just call a spade a spade, or in this case, call man-made climate change a hoax, and say we have to focus instead on adapting to our evolving environment, rather than try to bend the planet to our will.

Then she completely blundered the question on the Bush Doctrine. Okay, so she has some reading up to do. Who wouldn't? But you don't bluff your way through a question you don't understand. You admit you're not familiar with the term, get an explanation and move on.

I'm done ranting now. I just hope she does better in a debate.


Apparently, neither Palin nor Gibson clearly understood exactly what the Bush Doctrine is. Charles Krauthammer, the likely coiner of the phrase back in 2001, says in the Washington Post:
Presidential doctrines are inherently malleable and difficult to define. The only fixed "doctrines" in American history are the Monroe and the Truman doctrines which come out of single presidential statements during administrations where there were few other contradictory or conflicting foreign policy crosscurrents.

Such is not the case with the Bush doctrine.

Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Charlie Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, sighing and "sounding like an impatient teacher," as the Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes' reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their stage.

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