I am forced to respond

16 09 2008

Charles Krauthammer defends Sarah Palin’s ingorance of the Bush Doctrine by saying it has no clear, single meaning. What in this world has a definitive meaning if not a doctrine? But Krauthammer apparently coined the term “Bush Doctrine” so he gets to decide what it means, or doesn’t mean, or dances around meaning at any given time.
Fine. I’ll give him that.
He goes on to say that the audience of “any public foreign policy debate today” would assume that someone raising the Bush Doctrine is referring to it’s current meaning, that “the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world.” So if any audience of any public debate would interpret Bush Doctrine that way, why didn’t Sarah Palin? She obviously had no idea what Charlie Gibson was talking about. She stalls for time, and then talks about defending America from its enemies- not a word about spreading democracy. So aside from being nonsensical, the defense holds no water.
What Krauthammer succeeds at is accurately characterizing the Bush administration, which regularly changes the rules to suit itself. Bush and his fellows have deliberately misinterpreted scientific data, military intelligence, and diplomatic expertise in order to pursue their various radical ideologies. Take the Iraq war; first it was because of 9/11, then it was because of weapons of mass destruction, then it was to spread democracy. Each justification is discarded and forgotten when it becomes untenable.
So in fact it’s deeply appropriate that a “Bush Doctrine” has no fixed meaning, and that we are all expected to keep up with its ever-shifting nuances by following the torturous reasoning of right-wing pundits, while at the same time allowing those running for the second highest office in the land to skip along in ignorance. That’s Bush-style maverick politics in a nutshell.

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2 responses

18 09 2008
anonymous

What you are missing is that the term “Bush doctrine” was created by the media. Not the administration. There never was or is a set doctrine put into writing by the President. And it was the media that has labeled all these different versions of the “bush doctrine” as such. So of course she had no idea what Gibson was talking about, because Gibson didn’t know what he was talking about. He choose one version of the doctrine and expected her to know which version he was referring to. This is why she had to ask “in what respect?”

19 09 2008
Jed

Hi Neal,
I bought your harry pedaler cards at the stumptown comic fest. I like them so much I’ve used them all and need to buy some more, but how? I couldn’t find a way to buy them through your website- and there’s no “contact me” link with your email address. I’d like to buy around 20 more gift cards- interested?

All the best,
Jed

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