Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sarah's appalling ignorance

I just finished the following for the Register's Orange Punch blog and I thought I would cross-post it here. It's almost an understatement. This woman is so ignorant about foreign affairs (which is understandable, to be sure, although sometimes political activists bone up on a variety of issues even if they don't have to deal with them immediately) that she doesn't even seem to know that she doesn't know.

"Well I listened to the first part of Sarah Palin’s interview with Charlie Gibson, and since it was focused on foreign affairs, she didn’t come across well at all. Early on in the rollout somebody tried to ask her about the Iraq war and she said she just hadn’t thought about it much. That was obvious. I can understand to some extent. She’s been focused on Wasilla and then what she had to do to get elected governor and then what she wanted to do as governor. And despite some missteps, she doesn’t seem to have done too badly there. But it is simply all too obvious that she hasn’t spent much time at all thinking about foreign affairs. She may have absorbed a few neocon talking points since being selected, but that’s about it.

"Charlie Gibson was extraordinarily forbearing, but I thought he was at times simply appalled at what was coming out of her mouth. Several times I yelled at him (my wife hates when I do that) to do a follow-up to try to pin her down. To talk so casually about possibly going to war with Russia over Ukraine, when Ukraine is not in NATO and neither is Georgia, largely because the Europeans dragged their feet, and in the wake of recent events there’s no chance they’ll be in NATO (which may come apart over Afghanistan, but that’s another issue I’m sure she has no clue about either).

"When Charlie asked about the Bush Doctrine she got that deer-in-the-headlights look and acted as if she had no idea what he was talking about, which she probably doesn’t. Finally Charlie got soft and talked about preemptive war, and she babbled a bit. Charlie didn’t even follow up when she talked about “imminent danger” to ask if there was any imminent danger from Saddam’s Iraq.

"You might have thought, when he asked if she was ready to be president, that she would have had the grace to acknowledge that she didn’t know much about national security now but that she would make sure to learn from top experts between now and January and would continue to learn. But no. She seems to have the same kind of unreflective certainty Bush has, which is a weakness rather than a strength.

"Maybe I’ll have more after I listen to “Nightline” tonight."