But sometimes they goof up. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer thinks that he's making Sarah Palin look better by pointing out that Charles Gibson only referred to one of the four versions of the Bush doctrine in his question to Palin.
There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration -- and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.Besides meaning that Bush claims the right to pre-emptively attack countries like Iraq, there are three other Bush Doctrines.
According to Krauthammer, the Bush doctrine also refers to "going it alone" in foreign affairs, the division of the world into those who were "for us" and those who were "against us," and the doctrine of exporting freedom to all the countries of the Middle East.
Certainly Krauthammer's right about all the Bush doctrines, but that makes Palin look even worse than she does already.
In fact, Palin isn't just unaware of one Bush doctrine, she's unaware of all four of the Bush doctrines. Palin didn't know any of the four Bush doctrines when asked. In fact, she didn't even recognize the term "Bush doctrine" as having any particular meaning.
That makes the score the Bush Doctrine-5, Sarah Palin-0.
Update--Perhaps Palin could hire one of her high school classmates to give her tutoring in foreign policy.
And Again--Matthew Yglesias and Rich Lowry discussed the same point earlier in the day.