Sarah Palin on the Bush Doctrine:
Gibson: Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?
Palin: In what respect, Charlie?
Gibson: What do you interpret it to be?
Palin: His worldview?
Gibson: No, the Bush Doctrine. Annunciated September 2002, before the Iraq War.
Palin: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism. Terrorists who are hellbent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though, there have been mistakes made. And with new leadership– and that’s the beauty of American elections of course and of democracy– is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.
Gibson: The Bush Doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense.
Palin clearly doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is, right? National Review's Andrew McCarthy says that's "nonsense":
[T]he eminent Norman Podhoretz and I have strongly disagreed about it: Norman says the promotion of democracy has always been an essential element; I think it's been at best a subordinate element and that the real Bush Doctrine simply holds that terror sponsoring states will be treated exactly as terrorists (i.e., open themselves up to attack) if they don't convincingly foreswear terrorism. Norman may very well be right — he backs his argument up with lots of statements by the president. But the point is that reasonable, informed minds can differ.
Of course! Palin couldn't even begin to answer the question of whether she agrees with the Bush Doctrine because she's so deep within the neoconservative debate over its true meaning that she had to narrow the parameters of the question to even begin to formulate her answer.
McCarthy's spin reminds me of a scene from "Being There":
Ron Steigler: Mr. Gardner, uh, my editors and I have been wondering if you would consider writing a book for us, something about your um, political philosophy, what do you say?
Chance the Gardener: I can't write.
Ron Steigler: Heh, heh, of course not, who can nowadays? Listen, I have trouble writing a postcard to my children. Look uhh, we can give you a six figure advance, I'll provide you with the very best ghost-writer, proof-readers...
Chance the Gardener: I can't read.
Ron Steigler: Of course you can't! No one has the time!