Your Lying Eyes

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11 September 2008

Palin Interview - First Look

The first two segments of he Charlie Gibson's interview with Sarah Palin are here.

Initial grade: D+

It wasn't a complete failure because she was articulate and can prove she can speak complete sentences without a written script. And let's forget the "Bush Doctrine" gotcha question - that was a low blow - Gibson would never have asked anyone else a question like that. Good journalistic practice is not to ask a question that the vast majority of the audience would not understand (I sure as hell couldn't summon up what the Bush Doctrine is, and I'd be surprised if even Obama would know off the top of his head - I mean, it's not like anyone ever talks about it).

But otherwise she fell easy prey to Gibson's bait. He tried to nail her down on NATO membership and she fell for it hook,line and sinker. She effectively stated that a) Russia's invasion of Georgia was 'unprovoked' (almost certainly not true) and that b) Georgia should be admitted to NATO and that c) that means we should make war with Russia should this be repeated. My most charitable interpretation is that she is fundamentally opposed to such a policy and, finding it hard to fully incorporate McCainism into her belief system, she thus ended up inadvertently expressed what is effectively a caricature of it. More likely, she has spent little time thinking about this at all.

The next segment should have been an easy home run. Charlie thought he was rearing back and throwing a bruising fastball on the inside of the plate. In fact, it was a fattie, hanging right down the middle. But Palin's batting coaches had her all confused, and she ended up hitting an infield chopper that maybe she beats out for an infield hit at best. Gibson repeated the gross misrepresentation that Palin had proclaimed that we are on a mission from God in Iraq. Of course, all Palin actually did was ask for prayers that we have a plan, and that that plan is God's plan.

But here we can see the campaign preparation process at work. Were she to have forcefully pointed out the distortion, and said exactly what she actually said, she would have scored some major points personally. But, since her actual words clearly express some concerns or doubts about our Iraq mission, the campaign could not have allowed her to take this course. Instead, they came upon the clever tack of attributing the words to Lincoln. But it sounds like bull - because it is bull. Then she gave a ringing endorsement to the insane Bush/McCain doctrine that all people deserve (and the U.S. can somehow secure) freedom throughout the world. The idea that all people are deserving of freedom may sound like a nice sentiment, but from what I've seen of people's behavior around the world (and in Iraq in particular), I'd have to register my sincere dissent from that view.

Steve Sailer has summarized the Bush/McCain vision succinctly: Invade the World, Invite the World, In Hock to the World. In these first interview segments, Palin has fully embraced the first leg of this tripartite lunacy. Obviously, as McCain's vice presidential nominee, she has no choice but to go along. But her failure to cleverly hedge her responses* tells me she either has no other thoughts of her own or doesn't have the intellectual self-confidence to retain any semblance of her own voice. Sarah, you're breaking my heart!

* For example, when asked if Ukraine and Georgia should be in NATO, a simple response would be "I believe membership in NATO for these countries should be on the table, and John McCain will work closely with our European allies to come to an agreement on this issue" But do you believe they should be in NATO? "It's not for me to make this determination on my own sitting here talking to you, that's a decision that must be made in consultation with our allies. It would not be constructive for me to inject my opinion on this type of important diplomatic matter at this time." Instead, she has forcefully propounded a dangerous course of action that even the Bush administration is backing off of.

On the other hand, maybe she has thought about these issues, and this is how she really does feel about the situation over there, and perhaps on her own she went further than McCain's advisers would have preferred. I really can't come up with any comforting scenarios here, try as I might.


Blogger gcochran said...

I'd ask her to explain the full implications of a single word:


September 11, 2008 10:09 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Well, Wasilla is a long way from the Caucasus and I think just north of the prevailing westerlies - so what's to worry?

September 11, 2008 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Palin advocates NATO membership for Georgia,

You are right......Obama, with his bazillion faults, would be less harmful in the next four years. Yosemitie McCain just might get us in WW3.

September 11, 2008 11:01 PM  
Anonymous jimbo said...

Wasilla may be a long way from the Caucasus, but she herself has said that Alaska is right next to Russia... You can even SEE IT from Alaska...

I think the Bush Doctrine question
was a fair one... The BD pretty much sums up the spirit of the failed Bush administration. Her choice as VP candidate was at first choice a political quick sale for the Hillary undecideds and and second choice, ideologically an affirmation of a 3rd Bush term.
With decent odds that McCain won´t even make it to the end of his first term, I think she needs to be grilled even more than that. At least Gibson did explain it to her in pretty simple terms, thus preventing further embarrassment.

But you are right Ziel. Most people don´t give a s..t anyway. For me, that´s a problem.

September 12, 2008 5:32 AM  
Anonymous jbo said...

And Ziel, do whatever you gotta do, but please get over her....

September 12, 2008 5:36 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

My point about the "Bush Doctrine" question being an unfair one is that Gibson would never have asked that question that way of anyone else, for the simple reason nobody at home would have known what the "Bush Doctrine" is (I sure didn't). He would have said "The Bush Doctrine states that blah blah blah. Do you agee with that?"

Palin took a guess that it was spreading peace, love and democracy throughout the world through force of arms, which if it were a multiple choice question would have been one of the two choices you don't immediately toss out. A good guess, but wrong.

Anyway, its inconsequential because she had plenty of opportunities to show she could back up her running mate while sounding like she had some of her own ideas about things. She failed, alas.

When am I going to get over her? a few more interviews like this could do it. Her answers on immigration could really do it - although she might surprise me.

September 12, 2008 8:12 AM  
Blogger KingM said...

Obama certainly has his faults, notably on immigration and energy policy, but the fact that 80% of the people around the world want Obama and not McCain should be telling us something. The Bush/McCain/Lieberman strategy of world relations is not working for us.

Our policy toward Russia at this time is insane. I don't see Obama as being willing to back up that relationship to where it needs to be, but I don't see him blundering into war with the Russians, either.

September 12, 2008 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone settle down. We are not going to war with Russia. It just isn't going to happen. We know itand believe me, the Russians certainly do. The US talked tough about Georgia and did nothing. Advocating NATO for more nations? Doesn't mean shit. So what if McCain runs his mouth?
Even the ships that were bringing aid to Georgia when combat ended docked at a different port to avoid pissing of the Russians.

September 12, 2008 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree that the interview was unimpressive. I'd give it a C. She's obviously just not that bright - not dumb, but not very smart either. She often speaks in garbled sentences strung together with inappropriate prepositions. The ability to use prepositions correctly is, in my view, a pretty good indicator of intelligence, or at least verbal intelligence. (You'll notice that many black television commentators or interviewees also have trouble with prepositions.) For instance, she said something like (I'm paraphrasing), "Russia really stepped over the line in terms of invading Georgia" instead of "by invading Georgia". (The use of vague prepositional phrases like "in terms of" is quickly becoming a pet peeve of mine.)

Of course, intelligence isn't everything, and I admire her spunk and conviction, so I haven't given up on her yet.

September 12, 2008 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Bush in a dress.

September 12, 2008 6:56 PM  
Anonymous rita said...

There are a few problems with Palin.
First of all, why would any sane person supports a NATO membership of a country with the human rights problem? I mean Georgia.
Second, she lies easily, frequently and unnecessarily. She doesn't mind lying at all.
Third, she's not the brightest kid on a block.
Fourth, if she were running for a president herself, would anyone vote for her? I don't see it.

September 30, 2008 7:36 AM  

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