Scores of hungry commentators eager for a chance to score a sly lay-up against Sarah Palin, have pointed to her response about the Bush Doctrine last night as evidence that she is not ready to be anywhere close to the Presidency. But William Dyer posting at Hugh Hewitt’s page argues that many of these commentators are exposing their own ignorance and doing exactly what they accused Sarah Palin of doing by coming out with a "top-of-the-head" and pat response to the question without thinking. In fact, argues Dyer, Palin’s response to Gibson’s question about whether she agreed with the Bush Doctrine in the form of a question ("In what respect, Charlie?") may have demonstrated a more comprehensive knowledge of the so-called "Bush Doctrine" than Gibson or, certainly, many of Palin’s too eager critics have shown.
Although the aspect of the Bush Doctrine that is most often invoked in questions about its legitimacy among the media elites is the claim for a right to "anticipatory self-defense," it is not fair to say that this is the sum total of a 31 page policy paper and the experience of the last six years worth of efforts to enforce it. The Bush Doctrine, in the popular imagination, is much more than the sum total of its parts--and certainly much more than an evaluation of one of its parts. Palin was right to press Gibson to clarify--not just for her own sake in giving an accurate and fair answer--but for the sake of the viewers who, whatever James Carville says to the contrary, probably have a broader understanding of the term than he seems to possess.
And, for the record, the real problem, I’d guess, is that they did not like it when Palin said, "Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligent and legitimate evidence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country." Never mind them. The American people will like it just fine.