Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

(Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama and Daily Kos)

Sarah Palin has caught the fancy of many people, and I confess there is something very engaging about her.  But there is something even more frightening about her that outstrips the measure in which she is engaging.

I have been reading opinion on the Internet about her interview on ABC News, and I would like to offer some reflections.  No one seems to contest that Sarah Palin didn't know what the Bush Doctrine is.  Some have countered, "Well, why should she?  I don't know what the Bush Doctrine is, so there is no reason to expect her to know what the Bush doctrine is." Huh?  To these people I would like to ask, are you running to be vice president of the United States, and if you are elected, will you have an inordinate chance to become the president of the United States, given that you serve an elderly man with a history of cancer?  I have no doubt that these people and Sarah have knowledge that qualifies them to do certain things and characteristics that serve them well in their respective spheres, but Barack Obama knows what the Bush doctrine is; John McCain knows what the Bush doctrine is; and Joe Biden knows what the Bush doctrine is.  Moreover, so does Hillary Clinton, Charlie Gibson, and frankly, so does Beltway Dem.  Hillary Clinton, Charlie Gibson, and Beltway Dem are not running to be president or vice president; Sarah Palin is.  

Do we have no expectations that a vice president of the United States must understand fundamentals in our national life and policy?  

I mean, really.


I can see another line of defense.  Some people want to confuse the storyline and suggest the problem of us Sarah-Doubters is that Sarah Palin endorses the Bush Doctrine.  Oh, give me a break.  The story here is not that Sarah Palin endorses the Bush Doctrine.  The story here is that she does not understand the Bush Doctrine.  Now that's fine for you, me, Cindy Lou Who, and all the Whos down in Whoville, but it isn't fine for a prospective vice president of the United States, particularly one who serves an aged man with a history of cancer.

Now given Sarah Plain's demonstrated lack of a grasp on a key element of our foreign policy, I wonder how it is that she imagines she is competent to assess whether or not it is in our national interest to place Georgia in NATO with all the risks that such a move would entail?  I am not venturing an opinion about whether or not Georgia should be NATO; I am simply asking what in her background makes her so cocksure we should allow Georgia in NATO?

I will turn 50 in November.  When I was a boy, the United States and Russia had a lot of nuclear weapons pointed toward one another.  Every school boy knew that if one of those missiles was fired, we had reached game over, the end of human history, because both sides had enough firepower to destroy the world over and over and over.  For decades, we were content to live in a stalemate, because war with Russia was simply unthinkable.

Ms. Sarah Palin not only thought it, she spoke the unspeakable.  Whether or not her analysis of the duties of NATO members to one another is correct (and it certainly is correct), there is a contemptible foolishness in a politician who utters the words, "war with Russia." The question is to be avoided, because the answer itself is anathema.  So let me ask some questions:

Really, is the national media going to sit back and watch this farce without comment?  

Is it going to let this dangerous "cocky whacko," as Lincoln Chafee aptly has styled her, do a Dan Quayle-sidestep into the vice presidency?  

Haven't we had enough of the Republicans' little reindeer games?  

Isn't the world going to hell in a hand basket?  

Can we really afford this cynical manipulation of the American people this year?

Have we all become so inured to the Republican narrative that we will not stand up for something like reason even in a moment of national crisis such as the one which we face in this moment?

Update: James Fallows makes my point much better than I make it:

What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the "Bush Doctrine" exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.

Tags: Sarah Palin (all tags)



The only reason to take

this woman seriously is how dangerously close she is to the presidency.

by Beltway Dem 2008-09-12 05:41AM | 0 recs

by atdleft 2008-09-12 07:40AM | 0 recs

McBush & Failin' scare me... They scare me so much, I'm willing to jump out of my sick bed this weekend just to make calls to Nevada! Oh yes, and I'm even willing to send a little more $$$$ Obama's way. The Rethugs scare me so much right now that I'll fight like hell to beat them!

by atdleft 2008-09-12 07:42AM | 0 recs
Sadly she was right about the war bit

While it was a bit of a "gotcha" trap from Gibson, Palin gave the right answer.  If Georgia is a member of NATO and Russia attacks, then the nature of the treaty is such that we would then be at war with Russia.

The point that people aren't getting is that, if Georgia is a part of NATO, then Russia declaring war on Georgia in word or action means that we are already in a state of war with them.  That's how mutual defense treaties work.  The point of getting them into NATO is because Russia wouldn't dare attack a NATO member.  Putin is evil, not crazy.

Palin was well coached for that one.  Not as well coached for the Israel issue, where she just repeated the same answer with the same wording four times to four seperate questions.

by Dracomicron 2008-09-12 05:59AM | 0 recs
I meant to

tether this comment to your comment.

by Beltway Dem 2008-09-12 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

Of course, she is correct.  But my diary counters her correctness with an analysis of her prudence in giving voice to such an inanity.  We really need to take this on.  

Her analysis is correct, is not a defense.  She speaks the unspeakable as if it is possible.  We cannot brook such audacity of despair and foolishness.

by Beltway Dem 2008-09-12 06:09AM | 0 recs
Good point

We should probably expect more out of her than we expect out of a 9th grader who just finished the Cold War unit in History.

by Dracomicron 2008-09-12 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

Your diary, and incendiary positions like it, is the reason McCain/Palin are rising in the polls.

Palin should just be left alone. First, by focusing on her your giving McCain less emphasis and second, by attacking her in this manner your just galvanizing Republicans in general and Independent women in support of her.

by kristoph 2008-09-12 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

No, I disagree with you.  A hands off position gives her a free ride.  Obama should stick to what Obama does, and we should dismantle the Palin myth pebble-by-pebble.

by Beltway Dem 2008-09-12 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

I think Charlie Gibson should have fixated on the essence of the area he was grilling her on instead of fixating on the term "Bush Doctrine". It is more important that she define what she thinks of the area and we find out, unsurprisingly, she is a major dumbass ignoramus in that area.  But Gibson unnecessarily focused on a term instead of on the concept itself.

Quite frankly, even I do not care if she knows what the Bush doctrine mean. Does she know what the McCain doctrine is and what her doctrine is?

by Pravin 2008-09-12 06:09AM | 0 recs
I disagree.

An opinion to be credible first must be informed.  Her opinion is not informed; therefore, it is not credible.

For this reason, she is a cocky whacko, and that is exactly what I argue in my diary.

by Beltway Dem 2008-09-12 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree.

I never said she was not a cocky whacko. I was talking about Charlie Gibson's focus giving all the apologists an excuse to ignore the ignorance displayed by her in that interview. There were other falsehoods he let slide by later in the interview, according to media matters.

I would have preferred he ask her more specifically the reasons why we are justified in spending so much money on iraq and what that money could have gotten us domestically. Is it worth the cost? He should have flat out asked her if she believes Saddam had any connection to 9-11. I read some excerpt where it was implied in another question, but I prefer some direct questions she couldnt wiggle out.

Like I said, I just think Charlie Gibson grilling her on the Bush doctrine terminology put the wrong focus when it was clear she had no idea of any kind of doctrine.

by Pravin 2008-09-12 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree.

I think the problem is people can't get their heads around the magnitude of the gaffe, and so they explain it away.

If I am asking my Dentist about his anesthetic policies, and he leads off with "What's Novocaine?", I don't really care if he follows with "Oh, the numbing stuff? I'll give you lots!".

by Neef 2008-09-12 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree.

Absolutely!!!  I might know the ins and outs of the Bush doctorine, but I am a democrat and I'm NOT running as the Republican(Bush's party)Vice Presidential canidate.  That's the difference.  You can't run a country if you don't know the policies that are in place to run it, now can you?

by Pa Woman 2008-09-12 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree.

But the whole point of the McCain campaign is they are not Bush. So that gives them an out. It is suffice to ask Palin what her doctrine or MCcAin's is. And that would be enough to nail her on her ignorance of anything foreign policy related.

I wonder if they asked her about banning books. and why she lied about the ebay thing.

by Pravin 2008-09-12 07:28AM | 0 recs

Even if McCain & Palin want to prove that they're "not Bush", shouldn't they BOTH be able to explain how their foreign policy would differ from Bush-Cheney foreign policy? After all, how do they represent "change" if they don't even know what the hell they're changing?

by atdleft 2008-09-12 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Still...

I agree. But I just didnt care for the anal retentiveness of the phrase used - Bush Doctrine. Hell, I follow politics regularly and that term doesn't mean much to me. Just ask in 'plain english what Palin thinks of McCain's difference in foreign policy will be.

by Pravin 2008-09-12 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

I think we can all agree that she is beyond unacceptable.  She is a parrot, plain and simple.  No opinions, no thoughts that weren't put there by someone else, and the nonsense that she is focused and doesn't blink is just plain scary.  

A friend sent me this great blog.  It shows not everyone out there can be easily taken in!  I found it surprising for the areas and ages represented!!!

http://womenagainstsarahpalin.blogspot.c om/

by Pa Woman 2008-09-12 06:27AM | 0 recs
Even more simply put

A mechanic knows what a spark plug is.

A hairdresser knows what type of conditioner to use to help me cut down on frizzies and deal with my split ends.

A farmer understands what root systems are.

Shouldn't the Vice President understand what the Bush Doctrine is, as it was an historic turning point in our foreign policy and provided the justification for the Iraq war?

by grannyhelen 2008-09-12 06:50AM | 0 recs
She can be all that..but no one cares
other than Democrats. What Democrats forget time and again is that the election is about packaging. She is pre-packaged, easily marketable with a pretty compelling personal story worthy of a Disney or Lifetime movie. People who get their news from TV love her because of that. Moreover she has thrown the Obama campaign of its rhythm and does not back down from even the most outrageous lies. In other words she is the new celebrity on the block and she can play the sphinx for the next 7 weeks and still carry this thing through. She is the Republican ticket...not McCain.
Obama's biggest mistake is not going on the offensive. Even now his attack ads are watered down bilge when we really need something far stronger.
by tarheel74 2008-09-12 06:54AM | 0 recs
People identify with her because of her family

and because she does seem like "everyday people." That is worth its weight in gold.  As a Democrat, its frustrating sometimes that our party does not find a way to connect with "average Americans" in spite of the fact that our policies would help them the most.  Its sort of ironic- the very people that Democrats WOULD help,  are the people that GOP has the MOST success winning.  

And patronizing comments to these folks like we heard in 2004 "oh you are too stupid to vote for your own best interests"  and the "Jesusland" map only further alienate these voters.  

When will we ever learn?   Hopefully, before November.  

by Sandy1938 2008-09-12 07:43AM | 0 recs
MSM spin!

It is truly sad. I have noticed that the pundits are trying to spin Palin lack of knowledge concerning the Bush Doctrine. They refer to the fact that "Joe Public" also does not know its meaning. That may be true but Joe is not running to be second in command of the "RED BUTTON". Her lack of awareness is frightening!

by waldo 2008-09-12 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

Thanks for focusing on her lack knowledge, understanding, and well-formed policy positions. This is the type of stuff that makes her completely unsuitable to be Vice President, President, or to represent our nation in any way.

by LakersFan 2008-09-12 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

I am interested in what Sarah Palin believes about preventive war.  I honestly don't care if she's familiar with the label "Bush Doctrine" or not.  I know the term, but knowing the term isn't what really matters.

Frankly, I think you guys are just feeding the narrative of the "bad Disney movie," as Matt Damon puts it.  Personally I'd like to get back to focusing on McCain and the 4 more years of Bush narrative, but if you really prefer to focus on Palin, I don't think this is the message that gets the job done.  This "Bush Doctrine" thing scores points against Palin only among people who already lack respect for Palin's foreign policy chops.

by Steve M 2008-09-12 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin is a cocky whacko. Period.

Exactly my point. Hell, I dont even know if Bush can define a Bush doctrine. Palin wont lose any of her base by failing to define a term. She however can disappoint some of her less fanatical supporters by looking totally clueless in answering straightforward simple questions  such as Is the war worth the trillions spent. Couldn't this money be better spent to serve, among other things, better infrastrucutre, better intelligence, better VA care for our soldiers.

And here is something I am sure she will trip up on. Ask her if it is reasonable to give soldiers the following benefits and read to her the soldier benefits outlined in the package which McCain did not support.  I am pretty sure she will say yes as a common sense response. Then point to her McCain voted against them.

by Pravin 2008-09-12 11:57AM | 0 recs


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