Sarah Palin: Not Ready for Prime Time

John McCain’s so-called running mate shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office. It’s now painfully clear she doesn’t have the first clue about the United States’ role on the world stage. Not only that, but she doesn’t even have a firm grasp on her own party’s foreign policies or how they’ve be applied around the globe. Witness her utter unfamiliarity with the “Bush Doctrine”:

And forgive me if I, and the rest of the free world think that going to war with Russia over Georgia or another one of its former states is the worst idea in the history of the Republic. To saber rattle in this fashion is not only arrogant presumption, but plain dangerous. Especially since she and McCain haven’t even been elected, as least not yet. McCain and Palin represent a bleak future for this country. I pray to God the rest of the country realizes this in the weeks ahead.

Oh, and by the way, the revelation that Bush went into Pakistan this week without the country’s permission to root out Al Qaeda was exactly the same policy that Obama put forth last year. You know, back when such action was labeled by right-wingers as dangerous and naive. Obama had it right all along.

UPDATE: Any conservative who tries to tell you “there is no Bush Doctrine” is pushing bullshit. The Bush Doctrine was clearly outlined after September 11th, 2001 and has been referenced over and over in the main stream media and even by the GOP itself. John McCain himself knows what the Bush Doctrine is as is evident in this second video. Any attempt to defend Sarah Palin’s ignorance of the subject, and of the larger context of her lack of foreign policy is a farce. She has no excuse:


  1. So, we have to have “all options on the table.” Glad to know what this means. If I get her correctly, we can define it as going into sovereign countries without the approval or knowledge of those countries’ governments in order to “root out Islamic extremists.”

    She has no clue.

    Our standing in the world has been tarnished and if Ms. Palin and Mr. McCain get into office, there is going to be more of the same failed polices as the last 8 years. to Bush and Co., there are no other options. You attack with military force. Period. I’m afraid that my daughter is going to have to learn to duck and cover just like we did in the sixties.

  2. The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.

    There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration — and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.

    He asked Palin, “Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?”

    She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, “In what respect, Charlie?”

    Sensing his “gotcha” moment, Gibson refused to tell her. After making her fish for the answer, Gibson grudgingly explained to the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine “is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense.”


    …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.

  3. Sorry Jim, that horseshit doesn’t fly here. Everyone in politics knows what the Bush Doctrine is, anyone who’s worth their salt that is. Even *I* know what the Bush Doctrine is and I’m not running for second highest office in the country.

    Mock Gibson all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that she had NO CLUE about what he was asking. She made the answer up as she went and proved to millions of people that she doesn’t understand the nuances of foreign policy.

    I also love how conservatives think she can do no wrong. She’s NEVER lied about anything. Not about the bridge to nowhere, not about making rape victims pay for their own examinations, not about shooting wildlife from helicopters with high-powered rifles. Get off your high horse and take a look at what she really is. A two-bit politician who is putting on airs to throw the conservative base the red meat they so desperately want.

  4. Ged,

    Thank you for posting the update. I have to admit, the Bush Doctrine was lost on me as well. The concept of it was clear on my mind, but I suppose that I never linked it to a specific title like Reaganomics, Compassionate Conservatism or other horrible ideologies.

  5. Sam, why don’t you watch the second video in this post, you know the one where McCain explains what it is, and you and Sarah will find out.

  6. Ged,

    I did watch the second video. The doctrine has changed over the past 8 years.

    I think Charles Krauthammer sums it up fairly well in his Washington Post piece. Looks like Jim’s previous post pulled from the same article.

    This “with us or against us” policy regarding terror — first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan — became the essence of the Bush doctrine.

    A year later, when the Iraq war was looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of preemptive war. This is the one Charlie Gibson thinks is the Bush doctrine.

    It’s not. It’s the third in a series and was superseded by the fourth and current definition of the Bush doctrine, the most sweeping formulation of the Bush approach to foreign policy and the one that most clearly and distinctively defines the Bush years: the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush’s second inaugural address: “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”

    This declaration of a sweeping, universal American freedom agenda was consciously meant to echo John Kennedy’s pledge in his inaugural address that the United States “shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” It draws also from the Truman doctrine of March 1947 and from Wilson’s 14 points.


  7. Sam,

    You’re reaching and you know it. If Gibson had asked McCain if he agreed with the “Bush Doctrine” in an interview, do you honestly think he would have replied “in what respect Charlie?” or said that it was Bush’s “world view”? No, he would have given an answer exactly or almost exactly like that seen in the second video.

    PLEASE stop seeing the world through GOP blinders and wake up to the facts of the situation. New polls out this week show that an increasing number of Americans are “concerned” about the possibility of President Palin, as they rightfully should be. McCain’s pick of Palin was insulting to all of us who put country before politics. I sincerely hope you’ll try and see the other side of the argument.

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