Friday, September 12, 2008

Sorry, Charlie: If You're Going to Play "Gotcha," You Need to Get Your Facts Straight

In his long-awaited interview with Sarah Palin, Charles Gibson's attempt at a "Gotcha" moment was undermined by his own confusion over the facts. He asked Palin about her views on the "Bush Doctrine." Palin asked for clarification. Gibson did not initially clarify what he meant by the "Bush Doctrine," in an obvious attempt to make Palin appear ignorant. At long last, he "informed" her that the Bush Doctrine meant that the U.S. has the right to launch pre-emptive military strikes to prevent an attack on us.

Sorry, Charlie. You are the one who is ignorant. The fact is that there have been at least four successive doctrines that have been known as the "Bush Doctrine," and the right of pre-emption is not the one which is currently in common usage. The more commonly accepted current version of the "Bush Doctrine" is that the survival of our freedom and democracy depends increasingly on the spread of freedom and democracy around the world. Palin was justifiably confused by Gibson's question, since there is no one "Bush Doctrine." He might as well have asked Palin to read his mind.

This is just the latest example of the mystical judo that Palin has been effortlessly practicing against the elite chattering class. The harder they try to make her look stupid, the more they make themselves look stupid. I'm almost starting to feel sorry for them.

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