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Charles Gibson, The Bush Doctrine, and Sarah Palin

This is not a political web site and the only reason I’ve commented on the Republican convention and not the Democratic is because I was traveling during the Democratic. I’m not a dogmatist in politics, longing only for those with authority to allow others in authority to fulfill their responsibilities without interference, while decidedly not believing that the government has all authority or even has the right to distribute authority among its subjects. I guess that is because I believe in citizenship and family.

In any case, I had to print this excerpt from a Charles Krauthammer article because it is my public service, and like the Obamas I believe in public service (though I’m frightened by the idea of government determining what counts as public service).

I don’t know yet what to think of Sarah Palin, though she is an amazing, sui generis figure who has completely befuddled the democrats and the media. One of my favorite jokes is the notion spread about by the mainstream news media that they are not biased. All you have to do is disagree with them or suggest that people should be responsible and government limited and you’ll easily see how biased they are.

Unfortunately, after Ronald Reagan left office, the only alternative we had was the lunatics like Rush Limbaugh and his running mate Ann Coulter. They forgot that conservatism is the politics of reverence.

Now Sarah Palin appears out of nowhere. The media have forgotten that McCain is the one running for president. Apparently, so has Obama. She’s fun-loving, in your face, and unintimidated by the urban sophisticates and social climbers who base their beliefs on what is accepted by the other urban sophisticates and social climbers who determine who receives what back-slaps.

They despise her because she exposes them. And boy did she expose Charles Gibson, about whom I had never formed an opinion prior to his interview with Palin. Now I believe he is a condescending, close-minded, and inadequately informed ass.

In his interview Gibson asked a question that made everybody who was watching blink and scan their memories for about .000005 seconds. He asked her where she stood on “The Bush Doctrine.”

“Nope, nothing solid there. Let’s see what she says.”

If you are terrified of Palin (Matt Damon’s word), you were ecstatic about the result. She obviously didn’t know what the Bush doctrine was!!!

If you were on her side, you thought to yourself, “Hmmm, what is it again? And why is he glowering at her like that?”

Then you watched him move in for the kill, condescending to remove her from the hook and telling her that the Bush doctrine is the right to strike first against enemies. “Oh yeah, I think I heard something like that a long, long time ago,” you said to yourself.

If you think the selection of Palin is absurd, you were vindicated. “That stupid gun-toting, woman-hating, NRA queen doesn’t even know the Bush doctrine. Ha, ha, ha – what a joke this terrifying person is. But Gibson just handed her a ticket back to Alaska. Go back to that Nowhere land where we build our bridges to, you b-, you just got beasted! Ha, ha, ha.”

If you are in favor of Palin, you shrugged and thought, “Gee, I hope this doesn’t become too big of a problem for her.” You thought that, because, if you like Palin, you say things like, “Gee,” and “too big of a problem.”

But what nobody knew, because nobody knew the Bush Doctrine, was that Charles Gibson didn’t know The Bush Doctrine either. His royal pretense got it wrong.

Now, maybe Palin should have been able to say, “No Charlie, you’re wrong. That’s not the Bush doctrine any more. That’s the third version of a constantly evolving philosophy of foreign policy, but you are about five years behind on your understanding.”

But she didn’t, and it seems to me that the reason she didn’t is because Gibson pulled out what appears to be a buzzword of the Washington set, a sort of Shibboleth to prove you know the right people and the right stuff.

Well, Sarah Palin doesn’t. But we already knew that. That’s why some people love her and some people hate her.

Here’s the closing paragraph from Charles Krauthammer’s article over at Townhall (read the rest to learn what the Bush Doctine actually was, has been, and is – I knew you’d want to know…):

Yes, Palin didn’t know what it is. But neither does Gibson. And at least she didn’t pretend to know — while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, “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 phenom who presumes to play on their stage.

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