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Charlie Gibson's Big Mistake.

One thing I learned tonight is that neither Charlie Gibson nor anyone on his staff reads the Volokh Conspiracy (or Hot Air for that matter).

Outrageously, in his interview Gibson claimed that Sarah Palin had called the Iraq War "a task . . . from God."

No she didn't. She prayed that it was a task from God. As I said a few days ago:

I find it hard to believe that Anderson Cooper [and now, Charlie Gibson] does not understand the difference between praying for something you hope is true and stating that it is true.

Is praying for peace throughout the world the same as saying that there is peace throughout the world?

If I had prayed for the press to be fair to Sarah Palin that would not be the same as stating that the press is being fair to Sarah Palin.

Here was the exchange between Palin and Gibson tonight:

GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?

PALIN: You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote.

GIBSON: Exact words.

PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God's will is, and I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words.

But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.

That's what that comment was all about, Charlie. . . .

GIBSON: But you went on and said, "There is a plan and it is God's plan."

No, Charlie, she prayed that that was true.

The more I look at this, the more it looks intentional. How could Gibson and the staff have blown both quotes (not just one as Anderson Cooper did on CNN)?

Clearly, not enough is being done to debunk the myths that the press is spreading, and these debunkings are not being spread widely enough if the staff of ABC hasn't learned that what they are saying is not true.

Again, rather than relying on competence and fairness to solve the problem, newsrooms need to be integrated politically.

Political segregation and lack of ideological diversity just doesn't work, no matter how careful or how fair a newsroom tries to be. And this time, I am struggling to believe ABC was even trying to be fair.

Here was most of my earlier post, which includes a transcript of Palin's actual remarks in her former church:

DID PALIN ACTUALLY SAY THAT IRAQ IS "A TASK . . . FROM GOD"?

While searching for CNN's story on Troopergate, I came across a surprising statement of Palin's quoted by Anderson Cooper: that the war in Iraq was "a task that is from God":

[Palin] also talked to church members about "being saved" at the Assembly of God and suggested to them that the war in Iraq is a mission from God. Palin said, "our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Wow! CNN caught Palin saying on tape that Iraq was a task from God. Ouch!

But then I listended to the clip. Palin actually said:

"Pray for our military. He's [Palin's son Trask] going to be deployed in September to Iraq. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do also what is right for this country -- that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan." . . .

I'm an atheist, but I'm not so old or out of touch that I don't know that Palin was doing what Christians often do: praying that what the country was doing was God's will. It's not strange for a Christian to hope that what you want to do or think is right is indeed God's will. . . .

Nate in Alice:
Jim,

You are right about this, but it's a red herring. The real issue is how unprepared she is to discuss foreign policy.
9.11.2008 11:50pm
js5 (mail):
Really? all that typing just to restate something you'e said before? C'mon man. It was a moose in the headlights moment. Just accept it and move on.
9.11.2008 11:53pm
Ghost of Xmas Past (mail):
...so she was lying about it being an Abraham Lincoln quote then?

Careful you're gonna get caught in your own spinning.
9.11.2008 11:55pm
rarango (mail):
you guys are much too gentle. All the quotes are there--parse this anyway you want to but, the bottom line is that Gibson is a (f word deleted) liar. Now does that about sum it up?
9.11.2008 11:57pm
Nate in Alice:
Yah,

Kind of reminds me when Tim Russert went off on Obama for promising to accept public financing because he couldn't understand a contigent promise, which is what Obama offered.
9.11.2008 11:58pm
Nate in Alice:
Yah,

Kind of reminds me when Tim Russert went off on Obama for promising to accept public financing because he couldn't understand a contigent promise, which is what Obama offered.
9.11.2008 11:58pm
Loophole1998 (mail):
She did great! Who cares if she didn't have a foggy clue about the Bush Doctrine and faked her way through that question. It was a gotcha question anyway.
9.12.2008 12:02am
John_R:
I can honestly say I've never heard any other person accused of "hubris" because they are running for office.
9.12.2008 12:02am
JK:
Just like before, while you're correct grammatically, that quote still leaves me with the impression that she believes the Iraq war is a task from god. Anyway it seems a bit odd to pray for something to be god's will (what would it change?), but that's probably because I'm a godless atheist who doesn't get the sublime truth of prayer.
9.12.2008 12:03am
ronbailey (www):
The McCain campaign hand picked Chuckles, a reporter barely capable of tying his own shoes, to lob a few softballs at her... and she still whiffed.

Good luck polishing that turd, Senator McCain. I think you're gonna have a hard time keeping it shiny between now and November.
9.12.2008 12:04am
Nate in Alice:
I think Palin is a horrible choice, but by far worth it for one reason: it immediately stopped all discussion of affirmation action on VC.
9.12.2008 12:04am
llamasex (mail) (www):
John_R, what about being presumptuous, which is akin to hubris.

I think people might not realize the media did do the exact same thing to Obama. the media repeated Obama said "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

"His entire point of that riff was that the campaign IS NOT about him. The Post left out the important first half of the sentence, which was something along the lines of: 'It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It's about America. I have just become a symbol ... ."


Here is a collection of clips


Palin didn't get the God comment blown out of proportion this badly.
9.12.2008 12:07am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Wow, this site is infested with leftist trolls. One after another savaging Palin.
9.12.2008 12:07am
NoAcct:
The foreign policy experience is one I don't particularly get. Every single morning the President and Vice President are briefed by the CIA and the State Department. Every time they have to talk to any foreign leader they have dossiers, leadership profiles, even scripts prepared.

Cheney is probably one of the most knowledgeable people in terms of foreign policy and intel experience in any recent administration. I once spoke with an old briefer of Cheney's--a veteran of many years himself--who said he was constantly in awe of Cheney's knowledge and ability to remember details from a briefing 15 years ago, etc. Note, I'm not making any calls on his policy positions and decisions, just knowledge. I would also wager that most of the people that are criticizing Palin would also criticize Cheney. ~shrug~

The ability to manage is IMHO far more important.
9.12.2008 12:10am
taney71:

Wow, this site is infested with leftist trolls.

I was thinking the same thing. Wonder if they think bashing Palin on here gets Obama some votes in the election?
9.12.2008 12:10am
Nate in Alice:
Calling Democrats "leftist trolls" is trollish. Being a Democrat is not, in and of itself, trollish.
9.12.2008 12:11am
Smokey:
Nate in Alice:

Either you're trolling by double posting, which you always seem to do, or you're incompetent.

Tell us, Nate, which is it?
9.12.2008 12:13am
Nate in Alice:
I have no idea why VC sometimes double posts. I only click the button once and have absolutely no control over it.
9.12.2008 12:16am
Hoosier:
taney71

I have had the same thought for a while now. Why bother with VC? Do they think any minds get changed here? The percentage of of who come to a site like this because we think we iz smart an knows a hole lot awready must be purdy hi.

Not many undecideds. Except for some hew faces who were "going to vote for McCain until they saw this one incredibly awful interview performcance." I mean, those guys seem to have been swayed. (Yet, once again, not by any of *us*.)
9.12.2008 12:16am
JK:

I think Palin is a horrible choice, but by far worth it for one reason: it immediately stopped all discussion of affirmation action on VC.

Hah, that is something that should be addressed, clearly she was picked because she is a woman, but I haven't really heard any conservative commentator acknowledge this, much less address why it is appropriate in this case.
9.12.2008 12:17am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
They don't just not read the VC, they don't go to any Christian churches. If they did they would hard pressed to find one anywhere in the United States that allows its members to assert they are on a mission from God, and rarely that the nation is. That mostly went out with the 19th century, and came to be viewed as in violation of the Third Commandment. Even the most fervent evangelical churches have their adherents pray that they are doing God's will, and not ask for help to do one's own will.

Palin: let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.

As for the choice of Gibson, I suspect they wanted tough but not out of control (like O'Reilly), and not yet too deep (Charlie Rose). They would want maximum exposure starting out, and that still means ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or Fox. But look for a Charlie Rose interview to explore the kind of depth this forum is likely looking for.
9.12.2008 12:17am
EIDE_Interface (mail):

Nate in Alice:
I have no idea why VC sometimes double posts. I only click the button once and have absolutely no control over it.
9.11.2008 11:16pm


Why doesn't it ever happen to me then? I suspect someone is LYING about an itchy "Post Comment" finger...
9.12.2008 12:18am
metro1 (mail) (www):
More Charlie Gibson dishonesty:

Charlie Gibson was dishonest about "The Bush Doctrine." See here
9.12.2008 12:20am
fullerene:

Just like before, while you're correct grammatically, that quote still leaves me with the impression that she believes the Iraq war is a task from god. Anyway it seems a bit odd to pray for something to be god's will (what would it change?), but that's probably because I'm a godless atheist who doesn't get the sublime truth of prayer.


So I guess I am not the only one. Palin's prayer still has me a bit confused. I am guessing that it did not come exactly as she wanted it to. Even though her later clarification may seem convenient, we should still take some comfort from the fact that she refused to call the invasion of Iraq some sort of divine project.
9.12.2008 12:20am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
metro - "The Corner"? Are you kidding? I don't read right wingnuttery

/ad hominem attack mode
9.12.2008 12:20am
js5 (mail):
I'm a conservative and I'm bashing Palin. What? You're still not going to listen to what I have to say?

Ok, I've watched this video three times now, and again, she's dodging big time. She really is trying to give quote-worthy answers that don't even address the question. It reminds me of that one forum where some guy was saying how Chamberlain was an appeaser, repeatedly, but upon direct questioning, could not answer what exactly Chamberlain had done. Was it Chris Matthews? I can't remember. Anyways, her responses were echoed closely to what that dude was saying in avoiding the question.
9.12.2008 12:21am
SMatthewStolte (mail):

Charlie Gibson's Big Mistake.

One thing I learned tonight is that neither Charlie Gibson nor anyone on his staff reads the Volokh Conspiracy



What I find disturbing is that it sounds like Sarah Palin doesn't read the Volokh Conspiracy either. She'd better start.
9.12.2008 12:22am
road2serfdom:
"Being a Democrat is not, in and of itself, trollish."

Nice straw man.
9.12.2008 12:23am
metro1 (mail) (www):
EIDE-Interface:

It's Wikipedia - did you even read my comment?...

Charlie Gibson was dishonest about the Bush Doctrine.
9.12.2008 12:23am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Hey look, I'm an atheist but it's a bit crass to ridicule people who pray. It's downright ugly.
9.12.2008 12:23am
EH (mail):
But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.

That's what that comment was all about, Charlie.


Now, maybe someone can correct me, but even with my half-semester of formal Logic I can see that this is a distinction without a difference. They are equal. Praying that your side and God's side are equal. It is only semantics to say that if they turn out to be unequal that you were only praying for it to be equal in one direction. It doesn't work that way, either you're praying that you're on the same side or you aren't.
9.12.2008 12:24am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Darth Cheney is the ultimate policy wonk, yet Democrats say he's unqualified to be the VP. So which is it DUMBO-crats?????
9.12.2008 12:24am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
EH - we get it you hate Palin and are voting for O-Dumbo. You can shut up now.
9.12.2008 12:25am
metro1 (mail) (www):
EH:

Palin is a Christian and expresses a fundamental Christian idea: we hope to be following God's plan. This is a concept expressed by pretty much every President, including Kennedy and FDR. Is it wrong to be a Christian in the US now?
9.12.2008 12:25am
ARCraig (mail):
I really, really miss the days when this was a blog for analysis and commentary on legal issues. You guys do that a hell of a lot better than you do politics, where there's no shortage of talking heads out there making all the same points. There isn't any one out there providing the sharp legal commentary this site is known for.
9.12.2008 12:25am
Bandon:
"he was constantly in awe of Cheney's knowledge and ability to remember details from a briefing 15 years ago"

Yes, but 15 years ago was around the same time that Cheney gave a succinct and insightful opinion on why the U.S. should not bring down the Iraqi government. (Check out the YouTube video, if you haven't.) He predicted all the problems we've experienced since the invasion of Irag. Too bad he couldn't remember his own statements from 15 years ago.
9.12.2008 12:26am
EH (mail):
js5:
It reminds me of that one forum where some guy was saying how Chamberlain was an appeaser, repeatedly, but upon direct questioning, could not answer what exactly Chamberlain had done. Was it Chris Matthews? I can't remember. Anyways, her responses were echoed closely to what that dude was saying in avoiding the question.


Right-wing talkshow host Kevin James.
9.12.2008 12:28am
JK:

Hey look, I'm an atheist but it's a bit crass to ridicule people who pray. It's downright ugly.

Ridiculing people for praying is significantly different from wondering what exactly a politician meant when she was giving a public prayer.
9.12.2008 12:28am
SMatthewStolte (mail):
EH, that's incorrect. Language simply doesn't reduce to logic 101. Praying that God is on our side generally will refer to God's Power and His aid in our victory; praying that we are on God's side generally refers to God's Will, and that our goals are worthy of victory.
9.12.2008 12:28am
Tony Tutins (mail):
I'm not surprised Charles made that mistake. Why, there are some people who misinterpreted Obama's succinct putdown (of McCain's attempt to dress Bush administration policies as "change") as some sort of personal attack on Governor Palin. (I think he said it was like trying to put a Puss in Boots, but I forget.)

Yes, it's true, believe it or not, far-fetched as that interpretation was. Senator Obama had not referred to Governor Palin that whole time.
9.12.2008 12:29am
js5 (mail):
EH - Word, thanks for finding it. I'm cringing just listening to it again.
9.12.2008 12:33am
SMatthewStolte (mail):
Incidentally, wondering exactly what she meant in that church may not be wise, either. These sorts of theological questions need the rigor of Jesuits to resolve, and Ms Palin was sort of speaking on the fly.
9.12.2008 12:34am
EH (mail):
metro1:
Is it wrong to be a Christian in the US now?


Of course not. Likewise, I don't think being a Christian is a good excuse for being dumb.

EIDE_Interface: Did I touch a nerve?

Seriously, I'm curious whether there's a flaw in my logic that praying that you and God are on the same side is the same as praying that God is not on their side. That's the way it seems to me, and if all anybody has to rebut is that I'm a kookoo bananas Obamabot about ready to get all James Charles Kopp on Hockey Moms, I'll assume that my assertion stands. I think I've put up enough in support of my point.
9.12.2008 12:35am
Bruce:
EH, the problem is that logic doesn't give you nuance. The nuance here is, we can change our minds but God doesn't. A second nuance is that the prayer is supposed to have an effect, somehow. Therefore, it's pointless to pray that God move on over to our side, because the prayer will have no effect. However, it could have an effect on the ordinary mortals on our side. Therefore you pray to shift their actions, if necessary, to line up with God's will.
9.12.2008 12:35am
Bruce:
Jim, the simplest explanation here is not media bias, it's media laziness, which is profound.
9.12.2008 12:36am
JK:

EH, that's incorrect. Language simply doesn't reduce to logic 101. Praying that God is on our side generally will refer to God's Power and His aid in our victory; praying that we are on God's side generally refers to God's Will, and that our goals are worthy of victory.

That's a good point, and well put, but it still seems a bit icky to be praying, and generally getting God involved, in relation to strategic military goals.

I wonder if VC commentators would be as charitable with a prayer by an Islamic leader that Allah is guiding there military missions?
9.12.2008 12:36am
Reinhold (mail):
Good post.

The interview also was focused on irrelevant "gotcha" questions. Gibson tried to catch her in not knowing some discrete fact: what, specifically, the "Bush Doctrine" is. Frankly, I don't think the Bush Doctrine can be boiled down to "preemptive war." Why didn't he say, "What do you think of preemptive war?"
9.12.2008 12:37am
JK:
there his
9.12.2008 12:37am
Nate in Alice:
Actually, Bruce's point makes a lot of sense EH.

I was raised a fundie, but am now a liberal atheist, and this prayer did not bother me in the slightest. Seemed standard Christian fare, like asking God to "bless the food".
9.12.2008 12:37am
J. Aldridge:
I have an idea: Why not allow Palin to interview Charlie now? Give him the same "Gotcha" treatment: "Charlie, can you describe the Bush doctrine for us?"
9.12.2008 12:39am
fullerene:

Clearly, not enough is being done to debunk the myths that the press is spreading, and these debunkings are not being spread widely enough if the staff of ABC hasn't learned that what they are saying is not true.



I guess asking her about it and giving her a chance to answer on national television is not enough. This is all I have ever wanted of Palin from the start. Here, we have a reasonable question and a reasonable answer. Palin explains what she meant, and we are all left more informed. Why do we get wrapped up so much in the idea that these interviews are some type of competition between the journalist and the politician? Really, I only wish Gibson had more time, and had gone more into Palin's record. McCain has already answered the foreign policy questions for her.
9.12.2008 12:39am
js5 (mail):
Isn't it the point that saying "God is on our side" for any particular objective, is in and of itself, not an argument for pursuing such course?

All of this turns on faith itself. Faith, and even 'instinct', are not substitutes for rational judgment based upon facts view objectively.
9.12.2008 12:40am
js5 (mail):
One quick thing: assuming arguendo that Charlie was wrong on reciting what the Bush Doctrine is, is it still not distrubing that she made such comments about Georgia and Russia?

Also, to add to the above post of mine: I think one of McCain's stronger points is his secularism, but I'm beginning to find that his 'instinct' has not been calibrated in a while; thus, why I included it in the above post.
9.12.2008 12:43am
A. Zarkov (mail):
None of the candidates have any real foreign policy experience except perhaps Biden. Alaska being near Russia doesn't count. Spending part of your childhood in Indonesia doesn't count either. If the Democrats think foreign policy experience is important, then they should have nominated Bill Richardson who actually has some.

This year's crop of candidates are pretty disappointing, but not too much worse than 2000, and 2004. I guess we are witness to the disintegration of the American republic.
9.12.2008 12:43am
Hoosier:
{EH :
But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.

That's what that comment was all about, Charlie.

Now, maybe someone can correct me, but even with my half-semester of formal Logic I can see that this is a distinction without a difference. They are equal. Praying that your side and God's side are equal. It is only semantics to say that if they turn out to be unequal that you were only praying for it to be equal in one direction. It doesn't work that way, either you're praying that you're on the same side or you aren't.}

I don't want to sound "snarky." ("For the snark WAS a Boojum, you see.") But you are asking about something that one encounters if one has ever read Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. Palin is on firm ground here, and it was impressive to me that she knew to refer Gibson back to Lincoln. If Gibson doesn't know anything about Lincoln, he really should not be interviewing VP candidates.
9.12.2008 12:50am
metro1 (mail) (www):
js5:

Palin re-stated Bush policy and McCain policy. We want Georgia and Ukraine in NATO. And, once they're in NATO, an attack on them will be deemed an attack on all of NATO.
9.12.2008 12:52am
CherryGhost:
A. Zarkov said:


This year's crop of candidates are pretty disappointing, but not too much worse than 2000, and 2004. I guess we are witness to the disintegration of the American republic.


Unfortunately, we get the government we deserve.
9.12.2008 12:53am
metro1 (mail) (www):
Cherry Ghost and A. Zarkov:

Be of good cheer. We have a war hero and a corruption-fighting Governor of Alaska. I think we've done pretty good with our candidates.
9.12.2008 12:58am
fullerene:

A. Zarkov said:


This year's crop of candidates are pretty disappointing, but not too much worse than 2000, and 2004. I guess we are witness to the disintegration of the American republic.


Unfortunately, we get the government we deserve.


Obama to McCain today at ground zero: This year's crop of voters are pretty disappointing, but not too much worse than 2000 and 2004. I guess we are witnessing the disintegration of the American republic.
9.12.2008 1:00am
Cornellian (mail):
The interview also was focused on irrelevant "gotcha" questions. Gibson tried to catch her in not knowing some discrete fact: what, specifically, the "Bush Doctrine" is.

You think it's irrelevant that she's apparently never heard of the Bush doctrine?
9.12.2008 1:02am
metro1 (mail) (www):
Cornellian:

We just covered this, sheez...

Charlie Gibson was dishonest about the Bush Doctrine.
9.12.2008 1:03am
Eric Muller (www):
Jim, I understand your construction of Palin's words at her church.

But now that she was given a chance on national television to say that she meant what you say she meant -- and she didn't do it -- why should we credit your construction over her elaboration?
9.12.2008 1:05am
metro1 (mail) (www):
The summary from Wikipedia on "The Bush Doctrine":

* * *

The Bush Doctrine is a phrase used to describe various related foreign policy principles of United States president George W. Bush, enunciated in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The phrase initially described the policy that the United States had the right to treat countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups as terrorists themselves, which was used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan.[1] Later it came to include additional elements, including the controversial policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a supposed threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate (used to justify the invasion of Iraq), a policy of supporting democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating the spread of terrorism, and a willingness to pursue U.S. military interests in a unilateral way.[2][3][4] Some of these policies were codified in a National Security Council text entitled the National Security Strategy of the United States published on September 20, 2002.[5]

* * *

So Charlie Gibson, in asking Governor Palin about "The Bush Doctrine" without clarifying his specific meaning was being misleading at best - dishonest at worst.
9.12.2008 1:07am
AKD:

Anyway it seems a bit odd to pray for something to be god's will (what would it change?)


Obama to God: "...make me an instrument of your will."
9.12.2008 1:07am
CherryGhost:
Metro1:
Would you elaborate on how he was dishonest. He didn't give the broadest definition (and maybe the breadth of the question shows that it was a poor attempt at playing "gotcha" and he should have just asked about preemptive war), but the article you sited says amongst its broader definition that:

[The Bush Doctrine] came to include additional elements, including the controversial policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a supposed threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate (used to justify the invasion of Iraq). . .


Gibson said:

The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?


Yes, it demonstrates a poor question. But I don't get the dishonest or misleading part. If anything, I think it gave her the opportunity to shine, and she could have called Gibson on the poor question. She basically had her choice of which prong to go after.
9.12.2008 1:15am
Asher (mail):
See, the problem is that she's inarticulate and that the sentence that Gibson quoted is so poorly constructed that anyone could make the same mistake. It goes:

Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do also what is right for this country -- that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God.

If the clause that begins with 'that' came immediately after pray, it'd be clear that she's praying that the task is from God, not stating that such is the case. But she ungrammatically sticks this whole other clause in between the pray and that, and if you're listening to the video, it's not clear that the second clause is introduced by 'pray.'
9.12.2008 1:20am
CherryGhost:
BTW, in the first sentence, that should be cited -- with a "c". It's time for bed.
9.12.2008 1:21am
fullerene:

Yes, it demonstrates a poor question. But I don't get the dishonest or misleading part. If anything, I think it gave her the opportunity to shine, and she could have called Gibson on the poor question. She basically had her choice of which prong to go after.


Gibson probably thought it was a well-scripted question until he asked it. By asking her about the "Bush Doctrine," he gives Palin the ability to answer whatever question she wished Gibson had asked. Its pretty soft, but still substantive. Gibson wins left-wing kudos by getting Palin to acknowledge the President's existence.

As it turned out, it looked like a gotcha.
9.12.2008 1:22am
CB55 (mail):
Jim Lindgren any way you spin it, but it still comes out the same wet or dry. Palin wants God to take sides in our war and she hopes/prays that God is on the American side. If God is on our side it becomes our mission. Sure there are Christians that think use God's name in these matters, but some do not such as Quakers
9.12.2008 1:22am
Jerry F:
CB55, did you completely miss her response? She said specifically that she prays not that God be on the American side, but that we be in God's side. Her entire point was responding to your comment.
9.12.2008 1:30am
traveler496:
NoAcct said:

Cheney is probably one of the most knowledgeable people in terms of foreign policy and intel experience in any recent administration. I once spoke with an old briefer of Cheney's--a veteran of many years himself--who said he was constantly in awe of Cheney's knowledge and ability to remember details from a briefing 15 years ago, etc. Note, I'm not making any calls on his policy positions and decisions, just knowledge. I would also wager that most of the people that are criticizing Palin would also criticize Cheney. ~shrug~

EIDE_Interface was pithier along the same lines:

Darth Cheney is the ultimate policy wonk, yet Democrats say he's unqualified to be the VP. So which is it DUMBO-crats?????

Do you see what's fallacious here? If not, stop a moment and think.

NoAcct and EIDE_Interface are confusing necessity with sufficiency. A person who thinks that substantial foreign policy experience is necessary but not sufficient to be an effective Commander in Chief can easily think Palin an unqualified VP candidate, and (old policy hand) Cheney a foreign policy disaster, without contradiction. Me, for instance.

What I'm wondering is - why was it necessary for me to point this out?
9.12.2008 1:36am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
EH :

Now, maybe someone can correct me, but even with my half-semester of formal Logic I can see that this is a distinction without a difference. They are equal. Praying that your side and God's side are equal. It is only semantics to say that if they turn out to be unequal that you were only praying for it to be equal in one direction.

Semantics is critical to determine how to translate natural-language statements into formal statements in the predicate calculus. To pray is to request an action, and to pray that God be on our side means to request God take an action He would otherwise not take. On the other hand, to pray that we are on God's side it to request guidance to discover what is God's will, that is, to do what is right. It is not about "being" but "becoming", a process not a static condition.

I speak here as a professional mathematican and computer scientist who has written programs to prove theorems and verify proofs. (And, no, the practices of the IRS are not constitutional or legal, with many breaks in what should be an unbroken logical chain of derivation.)
9.12.2008 1:38am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Now, maybe someone can correct me, but even with my half-semester of formal Logic I can see that this is a distinction without a difference. They are equal. Praying that your side and God's side are equal. It is only semantics to say that if they turn out to be unequal that you were only praying for it to be equal in one direction. It doesn't work that way, either you're praying that you're on the same side or you aren't.


Logically, they are equivalent statements.

Logic isn't everything.

Historically, praying that God is on your side has meant praying for victory. Praying that you are on God's side has meant praying that what you are doing is a good and righteous action. That's what Lincoln meant when he made that distinction - pray not that we will win, but that we are doing right. Even a little-a atheist like me can understand that prayer.

Palin's comments are in the same line. She's simply praying "that there is a plan, and that it is God's plan." That's even more blatant in that even logically speaking it's obviously not "pray that our soldiers are successful in carrying out God's plan."
9.12.2008 1:38am
David Warner:
"This year's crop of candidates are pretty disappointing, but not too much worse than 2000, and 2004. I guess we are witness to the disintegration of the American republic."

I disagree. All four are acceptable, with some potential for outstanding. Certainly all are preferable as people to the disastrous Kerry/Edwards ticket.

Given the relative approval rates of our elected representatives v. military and police, libertarians may need to reconsider our knee-jerk treatment of politicians. Considering history, the alternative to our current republic is less likely to be an Elysian anarchy and more likely to be something more repressive than any of us might want.
9.12.2008 1:42am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Jim, I understand your construction of Palin's words at her church.

But now that she was given a chance on national television to say that she meant what you say she meant -- and she didn't do it -- why should we credit your construction over her elaboration?


But her elaboration and Jim's construction are almost identical. She elaborated by comparing her quote to Lincoln's, which is pretty clearly a prayer that "we are doing the right thing," basically. And that's what Jim has been saying she said the whole time.
9.12.2008 1:45am
subpatre (mail):
'EH' wrote Now, maybe someone can correct me, but even with my half-semester of formal Logic I can see that this is a distinction without a difference."

Be glad to supplement that class called "formal Logic". LOL.

One is praying (asking for help) to do what is right, instead of claiming that whatever we are doing IS right. Huge difference.

EH: "I'm curious whether there's a flaw in my logic that praying that you and God are on the same side is the same as praying that God is not on their side."

Yes. Note that Palin never claimed, asked, or prayed for a "side"; the word "side" was not used at all.

So yes, making crap up out of thin air is often called a 'flaw in your logic'.
9.12.2008 1:46am
courtwatcher:
Prof. Lindgren,
You seriously watched that interview and *that's* what you found significant in it?
As for your comment: she was asked directly about it. She had a chance to clarify or defend herself. She presumably has had ample time and resources to prepare, and hand-picked her interviewer. If she can't do better than that under those circumstances, how will she possibly function as President?
9.12.2008 1:46am
metro1 (mail) (www):
CherryGhost:

Gibson was misleading at best, dishonest at worst (in asking about "The Bush Doctrine") as follows:

Gibson implied that there is one, and only one, "Bush Doctrine." As noted here .... "the Bush Doctrine" refers to at least two separate concepts (three, if you include the codification).

So if Gibson had wanted to ask a question to actually learn an answer he would have identified which Bush Doctrine he was referring to.

But, what Gibson wanted to do is play "gotcha." So he asked about the Bush Doctrine without indicating which one he was referring to. So in asking the question as though there is only one "Bush Doctrine," Gibson was being dishonest: the term "the Bush Doctrine" can apply to at least two - and probably three - different concepts. Again, see here.
9.12.2008 1:49am
metro1 (mail) (www):
courtwatcher:

If there was anything wrong with Gov. Palin's original prayer - or her answer to Gibson - it's only in the sense that some think it's wrong in the modern U.S. to be a Christian.

Gov. Palin described perfectly the unremarkable outlook of a Christian who hopes her country is following God's will. Such a wish has been expressed by all Presidents, including Kennedy and FDR.

If you find Gov. Palin's comments objectionable, you find Christianity objectionable. That's your choice, but that says more about you than it does about Gov. Palin.
9.12.2008 1:53am
Roger Schlafly (www):
I think that Gibson was baiting Palin into saying, "What's the Bush Doctrine", so that there would quickly be YouTube videos making fun of her. Palin did fine, and Gibson looked like an idiot for misstating the Bush Doctrine.
9.12.2008 2:08am
Kazinski:
Eric Muller:

But now that she was given a chance on national television to say that she meant what you say she meant -- and she didn't do it -- why should we credit your construction over her elaboration?

What? I assume your scholarship is at a higher level than your blog comments.

Palin tonight:

But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.

Lindgren on Monday:

...Palin was doing what Christians often do: praying that what the country was doing was God's will.

That seems like a pretty good match to me. Maybe Lindgren was coaching Palin in his Monday post, but if that was the case she seems pretty coachable.

One way to interpret Palin's original statement would be that she was praying that Bush knew what he was doing. You aren't going to criticize her for that are you?
9.12.2008 2:08am
KWC (mail):
Jim,

I think you are superficially correct, but I think you are intentionally not looking deeper into her statement. Yes, she framed her statement that the war was a task from God as a "prayer," but it doesn't seem like she is actually asking God anything. That is, she is not open to the war NOT being from God. She is saying: I hope this war is a task from God, but if it's not, well, then what?

This is common fallacy. She is praying her will onto God. She is asking God to confirm what she wants to be true. She is not going to get confirmation from God one way or the other. It is not as if God will respond: "This is not my will" and then she'll say the war is wrong.

Do you REALLY not see the nuance? Or is your unfettered support for Palin blinding you?
9.12.2008 2:09am
Ohio Scrivener (mail):
Are Democrats really objecting to Palin's prayer?

We have heard from the speaker of the House that Obama is the "one God has blessed us with at this time."

We have heard from a democratic congressman that "Jesus was a community organizer" just like Obama.

We have been assured by the media that Obama is a "light worker" whose transcendent presence projects a mysterious halo that few can see in person, but routinely materializes in magazine and newspaper pictures.

We have heard form Obama himself that his election will be "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

We have also heard Obama promise to do the "Lord's work" and boast of that promise in campaign literature:

"My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want, but I won't be fulfilling the God's will unless I go out and do the Lord's work."



But when Palin prays that our country's leaders follow God's will, that's where liberals draw the line? ROFLMAO.
9.12.2008 2:20am
Kazinski:
I might also add that according to this report, ABC edited the version that actually was broadcast, to more fully quote Palin's original remarks, and edit out Gibson's "Exact words." statement.

If that is true its is pretty clear admission by ABC News that they need to start reading Lindgren's posts.
9.12.2008 2:24am
markH (mail):
So Palin isn't sure whether our adventure in Iraq is part of God's plan? She sounds pretty confident regarding what construction projects God is in favor of:

"I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that."
9.12.2008 2:30am
Ohio Scrivener (mail):
Small typo correction on the Obama campaign literature:

"My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want, but I won't be fulfilling God's will unless I go out and do the Lord's work."
9.12.2008 2:36am
wooga:
let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.

So, EH, this breaks down quite simply: "God should play for our team," or "we should play for God's team." Those are very different statements. Do you not see the difference?
9.12.2008 2:42am
TruePath (mail) (www):
Let me just say that I agree with you that Gibson is being very unclear in how he describes Palin's remarks. However, I don't think the issue is as clear cut as you state it is either.

For starters one could easily read Palin's speech as a humble way of suggesting that our soldiers were doing God's work. However, the real issue is that there isn't any difference between what Palin said and saying our soldiers are doing god's work because there isn't any difference between thinking this and being a christian who supports the war.

If you support the war surely then you think it is (currently) doing good rather than evil and given that christians believe that god is good (and wants humans to do good) then surely it follows that our soldiers are doing God's work. The whole idea that one can be sincerely religious and yet not feel that everything occurring in the world isn't intimately bound up with God's plan is what is absurd here.

The only real issue here is about the wisdom of rhetorically linking religious belief with the Iraq war. Even though it may be logically follow from support for the war for a christian it would demonstrate bad judgement if a canidate said that we should stay in Iraq to do the work of Christ as it risks inflaming the region. Thus the issue shouldn't really be whether Palin's claims technically said it was god's work or not but whether her association of god with the war was evidence of poor judgement.

I really dislike Palin but this isn't one of the reasons. Now if she made a habit of rhetorically linking god and the war that would be a different matter. Understood this way the reporter's confusion is somewhat more understandable.

------

Speaking as a liberal atheist I have to say I find the discomfort of religious liberals (and a fair number of conservatives) with a prominent role for religion in policy considerations and personal life to be really annoying. If you really believe in your religion it's pretty much the only important thing and how your actions measure up to your religious faith is the only yardstick that matters. If you can't accept the idea that considerations of human life and health are insignificant next to the salvation of souls then why say you believe? Either follow out the consequences of your faith or (even better) become an atheist.
9.12.2008 2:43am
subpatre (mail):
TruePath - 400 words to illustrate your lack of understanding? Strive for brevity! 'I am confused' would have saved hundreds of words from ignoble drudgery to a muddled message.

Re Palin: Asking for guidance is not the same as claiming that we are on the right path.
9.12.2008 3:04am
TruePath (mail) (www):
Math_Mage, Jon Rowland, subpatre:

Whether they are equivalent statements or not depends on how we interpret them in what sort of system. In particular are we interested in what they indicate about Palin's beliefs, what Palin is requesting god to do, or something else

Now of course trivially the prayer, e.g., the exact words of the request to god, are different between all the possible interpretations. But if we want to interpret the content of the request being made to god that's a more complex matter.

Now as subpatre said it is true that one construction asks god to help our side prevail the other asks to be on the side that god favors. While this seems straightforward it is still ambiguous between whether Lincoln's prayer is asking that God view his side as being morally justified or that God desires that his side win the war. After all there is no guarantee that god's plan might require that the just side lose. In the later case it really is just a fancy way of asking that your side be victorious while in the former way it is presumably a request for wisdom to know if the fighting should be continued.

However, is what matters what Palin was asking god for on that particular occasion? I mean everyone presumably desires to both be on the correct side of the morally correct side of the war as well as to win it. Since Palin supports the war she surely does in fact believe it is correct and she also surely believes we ought to win this war. In fact it would be downright disturbing if she thought prayer made a difference and then didn't pray for victory, the only real issue here is whether it is wise to connect up god and victory in Iraq in a fashion that might (unjustifiably) create resentment.
9.12.2008 3:04am
tsotha:
So, EH, this breaks down quite simply: "God should play for our team," or "we should play for God's team." Those are very different statements. Do you not see the difference?

This really isn't a very subtle point. It should be pretty easy to grasp for people who pride themselves on "Nuance".
9.12.2008 3:04am
TruePath (mail) (www):
subpatre:

I know but she has made other public statements explicitly supporting McCain's position of staying the course. So, assuming she is not lying in those statements, it's safe to assume she believes continuing the war is good and hence what god would have us do.
9.12.2008 3:07am
js5 (mail):
Metro1: yes i understand. I don't see how adding Georgia et al to Nato is going to do anything; I don't think the us is going to push back at all, and then it's going to show how weak Nato really is. Nobody wants war against russia, and even if they did, it wouldn't be on terms that they joined nato. I can only envision bad things with georgia joining nato, especially with the recency of attacks and conflict in that area, having them join nato is almost like declaring war against russia.

...that being so...Palin still isn't the person to be anywhere near the captain's bridge on this.
9.12.2008 3:15am
A. Zarkov (mail):
BHO said:
"Here's what I'll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons."
Nuclear weapons are a foreign policy matter, and this statement betrays his ignorance. While he does say he's not for unilateral nuclear disarmament, he doesn't seem to understand that "a world in which there are no nuclear weapons" is nether attainable or stable. It's not attainable because making nuclear weapons is relatively easy, especially these days. Once a set of key experiments are done, it's pretty easy for a national state to make a bomb once it has fissile material. Actually you really don't even need the experiments. Thus the US could never be sure that a national state that once had nuclear weapons had really disarmed. It would not be stable because one or more nations could re-establish a small nuclear capability fairly quickly by re-assembling old designs. A world where a small number of countries have a moderate nuclear arsenel is actually more stable.
9.12.2008 3:31am
Bull Gator (mail):
What amazes me is that 20 or 30 brilliant people posting comments on this blog have had 6 hours and the entire internet to define "The Bush Doctrine" and you all still can't agree on its meaning. Gov. Palin had 10 seconds. As to Georgia, no one knows what to do about it. Not Obama, not McCain, not Rice, not Holbruk (sp) not even Jimmy Carter (and certainly not anyone reading this blog.)
9.12.2008 3:31am
Blar (mail) (www):
Yes, the problem must be a lack of ideological diversity in the newsroom, because we all know that the media would never misrepresent a Democrat's words to portray him unfavorably.
9.12.2008 3:32am
Paul Allen:
The difference here is humbleness. Its humble to pray that you are right. Its hubris to assert your mission is god given. The former is quite common and quite clearly what she meant. The latter is what people are trying to tar her with.

That this is even an issue in dispute demonstrates a profound cultural disconnect between the media and 2/3s of the country.
9.12.2008 3:32am
epeeist:
Even if the quote meant what some think it does (I agree with Jim Lindgren's analysis), it should go without saying that if anyone had everything they said recorded, of course some things would be misspoken or not perfectly logically, grammatically, and theologically correct.

Either one believes that what was being prayed for was essentially "Since the U.S. is doing stuff in Iraq, we hope it's the right thing to do morally and ethically" or not. Based on all the intercessionary prayers I've heard and what little theology I know, that is the most reasonable interpretation.

I also think, the implied subtext to a prayer like this is is "help enlighten me if I'm mistaken". Just as if I pray "I hope that cutting the red wire on the bomb is the right thing to do", even without explicitly asking for it, I would definitely welcome any divine intervention to correct me if, in fact, I should be cutting the blue wire instead!
9.12.2008 3:40am
good strategy (mail):

That's what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan.


Hoping to be on God's side is all fine and good if there is actual doubt and humility. That's unclear to me so far.

The idea that everything is unfolding according to a divine plan scares the crap out of me seeing as it can be used to justify Machiavellian morality.

Moreover, praying is harmless but certainly not sufficient. We cannot rely on God telling our national leaders that they are doing the right thing. We need national leaders that are willing to use the power of their reason to come to good judgments. God's plan didn't involve, I am quite sure, trumping up flimsy evidence and representing one source ("Curveball") as sufficient reason to put thousands of human lives at stake. Mistaking your gut instinct for divine guidance is an unacceptable trait in a President, whether George W. Bush or Sarah Palin. So, pray your head off, be my guest. And then do your homework, ask the tough questions, be skeptical, and carefully weigh all the options. Palin's tendency to prayer is not what is being questioned here so much as whether she has an inquisitive disposition in her secular analysis of complex policy choices.

On another subject,
I asked a high school student of mine, admittedly a brainy political junkie, about the Bush doctrine. He was unaware of the Gibson interview, as he was working towards a newspaper deadline. First word: "preemption."

Spin, spin, spin. Palin is an idiot. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I guarantee that every single member of the history department at my school could have answered that question better than Palin did. We have a pretty strong team, but we aren't talking about graduate level work in IR. We are talking about the basic premises of Bush's foreign policy and what differentiates it from other foreign policy doctrines and she whiffed the question. She's lucky he didn't ask her about the Monroe Doctrine or the Truman Doctrine so everyone with a decent year of US history would realize what a blathering fool McCain picked, for political reasons, to be next in line to a 72 year old President.
9.12.2008 3:43am
subpatre (mail):
New commenter 'Good Strategy' says the Bush Doctrine is preemption. [Not being sure of the real answer, said commenter blames it on a 'high school student of mine'] Whoever is responsible, their answer was wrong.

Of course it also conflicts with all the Wiki links that other Obama supporters have already posted. The hive needs to cooperate better; maybe try memorizing your lines, or arriving at a consensus of what the Bush Doctrine actually is if it exists.

Originality is not his strong suit, and Bush certainly did not originate preemption. As Roland posted earlier, preemption is a law of nations well over 350 years old; established, tried and true ... and not the 'Bush Doctrine'.
9.12.2008 4:12am
Andy Freeman (mail):
> And, once they're in NATO, an attack on them will be deemed an attack on all of NATO.

Actually, as the US learned post-9/11, the other members of NATO think that an attack on a member of NATO gives the other members of NATO veto over any response by said member.
9.12.2008 4:12am
LM (mail):
EIDE_Interface:

Hey look, I'm an atheist but it's a bit crass to ridicule people who pray.

Yes it is. So is telling people who disagree with you to shut up.
9.12.2008 4:54am
metro1 (mail) (www):
js5:

Better McCain-Palin on Georgia rather than Obama-Biden.

With Obama-Biden in the White House, they'll jawbone while Putin devours Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltic states.

With McCain-Palin in the White House, the U.S. will respond with the only answer Putin will understand: a credible threat of force.

Khruschev backed away from putting missles in Cuba because of Kennedy's credible threat of force.

Putin wants vassal states on Russia's border - but will not want an open war with NATO to gain this minor tactical advantage.

Neither McCain nor Palin will back down to the bully of the Caucuses - Putin. But Obama and Biden will give grand speeches - and leave the people of the Caucuses to the brutal will of ex-KGB aparatchik, Putin.
9.12.2008 5:30am
LM (mail):

Hoosier:

Palin is on firm ground here, and it was impressive to me that she knew to refer Gibson back to Lincoln. If Gibson doesn't know anything about Lincoln, he really should not be interviewing VP candidates.

I agree, except for the "impressive" part. If she wasn't prep'd on how to handle something that was already a controversy, it would be pretty disturbing.

KWC:

This is common fallacy. She is praying her will onto God. She is asking God to confirm what she wants to be true. She is not going to get confirmation from God one way or the other. It is not as if God will respond: "This is not my will" and then she'll say the war is wrong.

Do you REALLY not see the nuance? Or is your unfettered support for Palin blinding you?

I'm for Obama, I see the nuance, and I disagree. As you've framed it, there are only two options: Praying her will onto God, or God's will onto her. The latter, praying for God to be on her side is fatalistic. If one is indeed convinced God is on their side, they're relieved of the need to do anything properly on this end. "It's all in God's hands, and it'll come out however he wants it to, whatever you do," would be the thinking. This is what George W. Bush has sometimes been accused of, and if it's true, it should be unacceptable to any sane person.

On the other hand, Palin "praying her will onto God" absolves her of no responsibility for diligently doing her job. On the contrary, it's a prayer that her policies will meet with God's approval, which presumably they wouldn't if Palin was less than careful and thorough in arriving at them. So unless you're arguing that political leaders shouldn't pray at all about their public duties -- if that's your view, good luck getting much support for it in this country -- I'd rather they take Palin's approach than the alternative. I found hardly anything to compliment about during performance in this interview, but the one thing I certainly wouldn't fault her for is getting on Lincoln's side of this question.
9.12.2008 6:00am
LM (mail):
"... compliment about during Palin's performance in this interview..."
9.12.2008 6:05am
paul lukasiak (mail):

I guess asking her about it and giving her a chance to answer on national television is not enough. This is all I have ever wanted of Palin from the start. Here, we have a reasonable question and a reasonable answer. Palin explains what she meant, and we are all left more informed. Why do we get wrapped up so much in the idea that these interviews are some type of competition between the journalist and the politician?


you miss a vital distinction. Gibson did not say "You've been quoted as saying blah, blah, blah..." He insisted that the completely out of context quotes were "her words" -- as if he was repeating an entire sentence rather than a dependent clause.

The Palin Derangement Syndrome is really getting pathetic. I disagree with just about everything that Palin said in terms of foreign policy/national security, but thought she did a very good job of representing McCain's approach to those questions -- and that is what a VP candidate is supposed to do.

Its possible to say "I disagree" without the kind of brain-dead viciousness being engaged in by Obama's supporters here. And its also possible to be critical of the media's treatment of a candidate without agreeing with that candidate. (I was appalled when Clinton supporters praised Gibson and Stephanopolis' performance at the final Clinton/Obama debate --- despite my schadenfreude based on Obama finally getting the same kind of treatment that the media had subjected Clinton to for over a year, I recognized that Charlie and George were simply horrible that night.)

This was a 'gotcha' interview -- questions about national security and foreign policy should be based on fundamental (albeit, fungible) principles, not hypothetical 'worst case scenarios'. Questions like "should we send troops to defend Georgia?" cannot be answered, because the answer to that question is based on conditions at the time of the attack.

Palin did a good job of explaining McCain's approach to Russia (jawbone about letting Georgia join NATO to signal that the US will take steps to answer unrestrained Russian agression, knowing full well that the rest of NATO isn't going to accept Georgia as a member anytime soon.) Georgia is a very difficult topic because Bush made implied commitments to Georgia that he never should have -- and extricating the US from those commitments will take time. In the interim, the US cannot appear to be abandoning an 'ally' -- McCain knows this, and Palins answers reflect that knowledge.
9.12.2008 6:36am
PersonFromPorlock:
EH:

Now, maybe someone can correct me, but even with my half-semester of formal Logic I can see that this is a distinction without a difference. They are equal. Praying that your side and God's side are equal.

The distinction is the difference between presumption and humility.
9.12.2008 8:04am
Big E:
Prof. Lindgren,
You seriously watched that interview and *that's* what you found significant in it?
As for your comment: she was asked directly about it. She had a chance to clarify or defend herself. She presumably has had ample time and resources to prepare, and hand-picked her interviewer. If she can't do better than that under those circumstances, how will she possibly function as President?


It appears Jim must always find something positive to say about Palin and given the unmitigated disaster of her foreign policy answers, this was all he had.
9.12.2008 8:06am
Milhouse (www):

Every single morning the President and Vice President are briefed by the CIA and the State Department. Every time they have to talk to any foreign leader they have dossiers, leadership profiles, even scripts prepared.

And yet Jimmy Carter still managed to get Malcolm Fraser's name wrong.
9.12.2008 8:35am
TP:
Consider for a minute that Palin actually said that going to war is a task from God. Exactly what is wrong with that? As a Christian, she certainly can't support war with Iraq if she believes it is against God's will. And I would observe that this is a huge double standard anyway. The Jihadists clearly believe and openly state that killing infidels is God's will, suicide bombing is God's will, etc.
Why don't you guys criticize them for the same thing? No indignation towards our enemies?
9.12.2008 8:49am
subpatre (mail):
LM claims ...there are only two options: Praying her will onto God, or God's will onto her."

Option three, praying that we will discover what His will is and that we will follow it. It is a prayer for enlightenment, a prayer for wisdom, a prayer for strength.

Option three is what Lincoln prayed for, what people who believe in free will must pray for, what Palin claims to have prayed for, and what practicing Christians --dozens already posted here days ago-- understood her to have prayed for.
9.12.2008 8:49am
Franklin Drackman:
Everyones missin the most important point, just like in the first Kennedy-Nixon Debate, Palin looked MAHVELOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.. Absolutely Mahvelous.
9.12.2008 9:00am
mariner (mail):
EH:
Now, maybe someone can correct me, but even with my half-semester of formal Logic I can see that this is a distinction without a difference. They are equal. Praying that your side and God's side are equal.

Did you pass that half-semester, or were you just "present"?

They are very different.

One is hoping that you're doing the right thing. The other is claiming that God is on you're side because you know you're doing the right thing.

Even if you can't see the difference, I hope most Americans can.
9.12.2008 9:10am
Rodger Lodger (mail):
Would it be evil of me to vote for McCain-Palin mainly because I can't stand the people who support Obama irrationally (note the qualification) and who attack McCain-Palin maliciously?
9.12.2008 9:27am
red (mail):
---You think it's irrelevant that she's apparently never heard of the Bush doctrine?

Please post a link to a formal government document with the title "Bush Doctrine". Please provide a quote from President Bush where he says 'this is my doctrine'.

You can't. Because this is lefty code-phrase for several strategies that President Bush announced after we lost 3000 of our fellow citizens seven years and one day ago. And frankly, the thrashing about that President Bush is doing to work with the Palestinians shows that he doesn't understand "his" doctrine himself.

Because this is largely undefined lefty-speak Palin was spot on for asking for a definition.

And put me in the column that says that Christians recognize that they cannot know God's will but pray for Him to give them wisdom so that they can grow to understand it. It reveals quite shallow thought processes to equate this with "your side and God's side are equal".
9.12.2008 9:27am
pluribus:
We are going to get the government we deserve, and if we continue to dance around quotes (was it exact? was it close? was it false? was it intentional? was it inadvertent?) and avoid the real choices we face in the election, we run a grave risk of getting a government that is bad, really bad.

With less than 60 days left before the election, are we going to find out who Sarah Palin is and whether she is qualified (by experience, temperament, background, and knowledge) to be president, or are we going to find out who asks the best questions on a TV interview? We are attacking the messenger (Gibson) and pretending we can't see the message (Palin for vice president). We still know next to nothing about this woman who says she is ready on day one to be president, and with time rapidly running out we don't seem to care about finding out. It is troubling.
9.12.2008 9:28am
Bored Lawyer:

Gibson implied that there is one, and only one, "Bush Doctrine." As noted here .... "the Bush Doctrine" refers to at least two separate concepts (three, if you include the codification).


Question: the "Bush Doctrine" -- whichever of the three versions you pick -- seems to be a pretty important issue of policy.

Had anyone ever asked Barack Obama whether he agrees with the "Bush Doctrine" -- or any of the three variations thereof?

Did Gibson ask Obama that when he was interviewing him? Why not?

Now, taking Gibson's own definition -- preemptive self-defense -- does he really believe that anyone actually rejects that idea? (As pointed out in the other thread, it goes back at least 400 years in Western legal thought.)
9.12.2008 9:30am
GeorgeW (mail):
I watched the NBC Today Show this morning. They showed a video of Sarah Palin saying those words and the video was clipped down to match exactly what Charlie Gibson said.

The Left Stream Media continue to spread the myths.
9.12.2008 9:31am
pluribus:
Rather than agonizing over whether Gibson asked his questions properly, we should really be worrying about Palin's attitudes toward Georgia. Would she take us to war with Russia if we let Georgia into NATO and the hot-headed president of Georgia decides he wants to provoke a conflict? Does she agree with McCain's astounding statement that, on this issue, "We are all Georgians"? (I thought biblical fundamentalists believed that Armageddon would start in Palestine, not in the Caucuses.) Whatever the answer to this question, it is certainly more important than this inconsequential dustup about whether Iraq is God's war or not. Let's get some sense of what's important and what's not before it's too late.
9.12.2008 9:38am
Arkady:
David Frum has an interesting comment over at NRO:


Again and again through the ABC interview with Sarah Palin, Gibson asked questions to which an evasive answer would have been perfectly appropriate.

...

But Palin never punted. She tried to bluff her way through, pretending to know what she obviously did not know. It's an understandable impulse, and in the context of a single interview, not so very terrible. But is it an impulse that she'd lay aside once in office? Or is it a deeper habit? A lot may turn on the answer to that question.
9.12.2008 9:42am
pluribus:
We continue to attack the messengers and ignore the message. The question should not be whether Gibson is a big bad left-winger but whether Palin is ready to be president on day one. Does she even recognize the issues? Two weeks after I first heard her name, I'm supposed to decide if she is ready to be commander in chief. I can't believe all of this diversion.
9.12.2008 9:43am
pluribus:
Rodger Lodger:

Would it be evil of me to vote for McCain-Palin mainly because I can't stand the people who support Obama irrationally (note the qualification) and who attack McCain-Palin maliciously?

Certainly not. It might well be stupid. I hope you know the difference.
9.12.2008 9:48am
noname:
Praying that the war is a task from God is indeed not exactly the same as saying that it is. However, the analogy with "praying for peace throughout the world" does not hold at all.

If you pray for world peace, you pray that there will be world peace in the (not too distant) future.

If you pray that the war is a task from God, you are hoping that the was IS a task from God (now). You concede that you are not 100% sure whether it is or not, but you pray to God that it IS.

IMO, saying you pray that the war is a task from God is the closest thing to saying the war IS a task from God. In my view the reservation is there only to avoid giving the impression that you know as much as God does. It is a necessary humility.
9.12.2008 9:54am
paul lukasiak (mail):

Would it be evil of me to vote for McCain-Palin mainly because I can't stand the people who support Obama irrationally (note the qualification) and who attack McCain-Palin maliciously?


no, it wouldn't be evil, wrong, but not evil.

I mean, who wants to spend four years being attacked as a racist by these people anytime you criticize The One?

I'm becoming more and more willing to actually vote for McCain, because despite my disagreements with his policies, I think he'll do a good job as President -- and that he will 'reach across the aisle' to arrive at consensus policies. I can't make a 'positive' argument for Obama, while I can make one for McCain....

And the behavior of the Oborg makes it far more likely that I'll vote based on the availability of the positive argument. In other words, while a vote for McCain would probably be motivated in large part by my antipathy toward the DNC and Obama supporters, it would be based on the fact that I think McCain would be at least adequate in the Oval Office.
9.12.2008 9:54am
Eric Muller (www):
TP's comment of 7:48 a.m. says it all, doesn't it? That's what this is really about -- the white-hot context for a fundamentalist Christian's invocation of God in discussing the invasion of a Muslim country. (Last I checked, Lincoln was no evangelical ... and both combatants in the Civil War were Christian.)

Gibson's direct question to Palin was "are we are fighting a holy war?" That would have seemed an easy thing to say "no" to.

She didn't.

A few years before Lincoln spoke about a war between southern and northern American Christians, another leader prayed as follows:

"Let those who go not put off the journey, but rent their lands and collect money for their expenses; and as soon as winter is over and spring comes, let them eagerly set out on the way with God as their guide!"
A prayer that these soldiers "deploy" with God's guidance? Yes, it was that. But it was much more; it was the rousing conclusion of Pope Urban II's 1095 speech at the Council of Clermont, which launched the First Crusade.

In the context of the international politics of war and faith, Palin's prayer from her Wasilla pulpit resonated as much with Pope Urban II's speech as with Abraham Lincoln's. To (some) American ears, Palin was recalling Lincoln. To many ears elsewhere (and certainly to the ears of some in America, including mine), she was recalling Pope Urban II.

Even if you believe that in her heart of hearts Palin was all about Lincoln, it seems to me that you have to concede the risks -- maybe even the recklessness -- of an evangelical Christian candidate's persistence in mixing God with war and in not finding the simple word "no" when directly asked whether our Iraq venture is a holy war.
9.12.2008 10:05am
js5 (mail):
I'm really looking forward to how Jim will spin her comments on Iraq being responsible for 9/11. Gets popcorn ready.

I wonder if she even knows what habeas corpus is?

I really am beginning to feel bad for McCain. His legacy is now turning on this woman...after all the good things he's done, this will hurt him even if he's elected...
9.12.2008 10:17am
The Ace (mail):
given the unmitigated disaster of her foreign policy answers,

I just love this. Really, I do.

Do you really believe Obama could honestly, not just say "premption" answer what the Bush doctrine is, in 10 seconds?

Do you really believe that Obama, who clearly said he would meet the leaders of Iran without preconditions, then waffled, and now believes God knows what about that, has solid foreign policy views?

Do you really believe Obama, who was spectacularly wrong on the biggest foreign policy issue of this decade (Biden changed his mind and had a silly divide Iraq into 3 states position), has sound foreign policy judgement?

Because Obama is at the top of the ticket and Palin is not.

Again, when in modern political history has the top of one ticket spent so much time attacking the bottom of the other?
9.12.2008 10:19am
The Ace (mail):
I'm really looking forward to how Jim will spin her comments on Iraq being responsible for 9/11.

Laugh out loud funny considering she never said any such thing.

Go ahead and post her comments saying so. You know, the ones she doesn't say that but you are spinning into saying she did.

Again, you can no longer parody the left.
9.12.2008 10:20am
Happyshooter:
I wonder if she even knows what habeas corpus is?

Who cares? The voters don't know or care what hc is.

Assuming she is being interviewed for the back-up to the pres, I as a voter want to know:

1. Freak or not?
2. Higher taxes or lower?
3. Strong defense or weak?
4. Good highways?
5. If America is attacked do we respond with force or kissing EU butt?
9.12.2008 10:22am
Fishy pig:
What is with the attack the media mentality? The right has totally lost its marbles. This is not a "big" mistake. It's a difference in parsing a quote. Maybe she didn't mean it that way, but she didn't actually correct him in the interview. She had an opportunity.

Her answers to some of the easiest questions were the kind you'd get from a freshman in high school asked to think about issues: total bluffing.

I like the Volokh conspiracy a lot, but this is getting ridiculous.
9.12.2008 10:23am
Jeffersonian22 (mail):
I was willing to believe that Gibson's malicious cribbing was the result of a sloppy or axe-grinding producer, but I think Kazinski's comment at 9.12.2008 1:24am tells us it was no error. Those weren't Palin's "exact words" and ABC is trying to cover their tracks so as to not look foolish or worse.

Big Media is being destroyed from within.
9.12.2008 10:25am
Eric Muller (www):
Hey the Ace:

Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska

By Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 12, 2008; A01

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."
9.12.2008 10:25am
JeanE (mail):
I disagree with those who argue that analyzing Gibson's performance is just attacking the messenger.

I'm a veterinarian. When I want information about my patients, I use blood work, radiographs, etc. Obviously, I want to know that the lab that is conducting the tests is using standard protocols and using properly calibrated equipment, because otherwise the information they provide to me is worse than garbage- bad information is more likely to lead to a mistaken diagnosis than no information.

When I need to assess candidates for political office, I base my decision on the candidate's statements and their record in office. The news media is essentially the laboratory that I depend upon to provide good information. If it is abundantly clear that the media is using bad quotes (miscalibrated machines) and is biased in their approach (not following standard protocols), then I have every reason to ignore the information they provide and rely on my own observations, and to encourage others to do likewise.

Pointing out that MSM coverage is unreliable is not a diversion, but an advisory notice to those who want reliable information to look elsewhere.
9.12.2008 10:25am
umbrelladoc:
Bored Lawyer: Gibson asked Obama pretty much the same questions about the Bush Doctrine and Pakistan in a debate in New Hampshire.
GIBSON: And let me start with you, Senator Obama, because it was you who said in your foreign policy speech that you would go into western Pakistan if you had actionable intelligence to go after it, whether or not the Pakistani government agreed. Do you stand by that?
OBAMA: I absolutely do stand by it, Charlie. What I said was that we should do everything in our power to push and cooperate with the Pakistani government in taking on Al Qaida, which is now based in northwest Pakistan. And what we know from our national intelligence estimates is that Al Qaida is stronger now than at any time since 2001.
OBAMA: And so, back in August, I said we should work with the Pakistani government, first of all to encourage democracy in Pakistan so you've got a legitimate government that we're working with, and secondly that we have to press them to do more to take on Al Qaida in their territory.
What I said was, if they could not or would not do so, and we had actionable intelligence, then I would strike.
And I should add that Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean, the heads of the 9/11 Commission, a few months later wrote an editorial saying the exact same thing.
I think it's indisputable that that should be our course.
Let me just add one thing, though. On the broader issue of nuclear proliferation, this is something that I've worked on since I've been in the Senate. I worked with Richard Lugar, then the Republican head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to pass the next stage of what was Nunn-Lugar so that we would have improved interdiction of potentially nuclear materials.
OBAMA: And it is important for us to rebuild a nuclear nonproliferation strategy, something that this administration, frankly, has ignored, and has made us less safe as a consequence.
It would not cost us that much, for example, and would take about four years for us to lock down the loose nuclear weapons that are still floating out there, and we have not done the job.
GIBSON: I'm going to go the others in a moment, but what you just outlined is essentially the Bush doctrine. We can attack if we want to, no matter the sovereignty of the Pakistanis.
OBAMA: No, that is not the same thing, because here we have a situation where Al Qaida, a sworn enemy of the United States, that killed 3,000 Americans and is currently plotting to do the same, is in the territory of Pakistan. We know that.
And this is not speculation. This is not a situation where we anticipate a possible threat in the future.
And my job as commander in chief will be to make sure that we strike anybody who would do America harm when we have actionable intelligence do to that.

Compare:
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
GIBSON: The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?
PALIN: His world view.
GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.
GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?

PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.
GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we're going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be, a military strike, a last option.
GIBSON: But, Governor, I'm asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.
PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.
GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?
PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.

Obama does not equivocate at all about going into Pakistan. He understands the key difference about the Bush Doctrine, is that allows attacking a country even when the threat is not imminent. This was how the invasion of Iraq was justified. But compare the two answers. Policy-wise they are quite similar. The principal difference is the difference between knowing and understanding. Palin may have sputtered out the correct policy, Obama understands the concepts he is talking about.
9.12.2008 10:25am
Jaypher (mail):
A Pentecostal scholar of Pentecostalism says it's fair to read Palin's words as referencing Holy War.
9.12.2008 10:25am
The Ace (mail):
One must wonder how all these leftists here would react to this if they were around in 1776:


Upon their discovery of the works next morning, great preparations were made for attacking them; but not being ready before afternoon, and the weather getting very tempestuous, much blood was saved, and a very important blow, to one side or the other, was prevented. That this most remarkable interposition of Providence is for some a wise purpose, I have not a doubt.
-George Washington describes his capture of Boston, 1776


And this:

There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing providence in our favor; our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us. The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world.
--Samuel Adams,from a speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia, August 1, 1776


Don't worry, that war had a plan!
9.12.2008 10:28am
Jeffersonian22 (mail):

What is with the attack the media mentality? The right has totally lost its marbles. This is not a "big" mistake. It's a difference in parsing a quote.


Ah...no.

These guys make their living with words. They knew exactly what they were doing when they trimmed off the first part of the quote, and what they were doing was inverting the meaning of what Palin said. It's like a pitcher in the major leagues winding up, then whirling around and deliberately flinging the ball into center field.
9.12.2008 10:29am
The Ace (mail):
Hey the Ace:

Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska


Go ahead and post her comments saying so. You know, the ones she doesn't say that but you are spinning into saying she did.

A claim in a headline is not fact. I realize you have received your talking point for the day, but that still does not make it true.
9.12.2008 10:31am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

It's pretty clear:

1. Gibson doesn't actually know what the Bush Doctrine is.

2. Preemptive strike has *always* been implicit in self-defense and isn't a part of the Bush Doctrine because it's unnecessary.

3. Gibson has completely beclowned himself.

4. ABC has been busy editing out some sections to reduce the negative impact of Gibson acting like an ass. Good luck with that one.

5. He was condescending and that is not going over well with the women I know.

That whole looking-at-her-over-the-glasses-and-down-the-nose schtick REALLY did not go over well. Gibson is going to regret doing that for some time to come.
9.12.2008 10:32am
The Ace (mail):
Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

Er, we are in Iraq because 9-11 happened.

You do realize that, right?

You are capable of understanding that doesn't mean she believe Iraq attacked us, correct?

You do understand Tom Daschle, Senate Majority Leader and Democrat "rushed" this throught the Senate:


Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;


Right?

You know Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, Harry Reid, and Joe Biden all voted for that, right?
9.12.2008 10:34am
douglas2 (mail):
I'm of the opinion that the "task from God" question in such a high profile interview is a public service. You ask the question distorting the quote, and that gives the candidate the opportunity to set the record straignt. If you play the original tape, so much the better. Lets hope the subsequent interviews ask her what books she banned from the Wassila library, and other such "tough" questions that still seem to be excercising her opponents.
9.12.2008 10:41am
The Ace (mail):
Hey the Ace:

Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska


On the question of:

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;


All of these folks agree:
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Biden (D-DE), Yea
Breaux (D-LA), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Carnahan (D-MO), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Cleland (D-GA), Yea
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Daschle (D-SD), Yea
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hollings (D-SC), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lieberman (D-CT), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Miller (D-GA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Torricelli (D-NJ), Yea

So tell us, why are all those Democrats linking Iraq to
9-11?
9.12.2008 10:41am
Quarterly Prophet (mail):
I hate just about all of you.
9.12.2008 10:42am
pluribus:
Some of the posters here seem pretty clear on one point. Charlie Gibson should not be vice president, or in line to become president. But Charlie Gibson isn't running, is he? The question is whether Sarah Palin should be vice president, or in line to become president. We have less than 60 days to find the answer to that question, and here we are jousting over Gibson. The time constraint is more important for Palin than McCain, Obama, or Biden, because they have been on the national stage longer. Obama has been running for president, making speeches, and answering questions, for 2 years. McCain for almost 30 years. Obama as two books in print for those who want to know what he things. McCain has 4 or 5. Palin has none of this. She has been on the national stage 2 weeks.
9.12.2008 10:51am
Eric Muller (www):
Palin's comments at yesterday's deployment are here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OjbjlKOVBY

They link the Iraqi regime to the 9/11 attacks in ways we haven't heard even Dick Cheney do in years.

Consider:

@ 3:50 of the speech: The Alaskan soldiers lost in Iraq are soldiers who were lost "in the broad conflict that began seven years ago today."

@ 4:40 (approx.): "You'll be there in service to the same cause of freedom from tyranny and from violence [as the Alaskan soldiers who've been lost]. You'll be there to defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans. You'll be there because America can never go back to that false sense of security that came before September 11, 2001."
9.12.2008 10:53am
The Ace (mail):
Obama has been running for president, making speeches, and answering questions, for 2 years

When is the last time anyone asked him to clarify his out &out fabrication ("he is some guy who lives in my neighborhood") about Bill Ayers?

When is the last time someone asked him about the Chicago Annenberg Challenge?
9.12.2008 10:54am
Worried:
That fact that she hopes it was a task from god is the scariest thing of all. Having someone in the Whitehouse that thinks they are playing out gods will is as terrifying as the terrorists - because that's the same thing they believe.
9.12.2008 10:55am
The Ace (mail):
This is a great article:


Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, is an experienced, serious and smart man. But, boy, does he say some curious things. A day on the campaign trail without a cringe-inducing gaffe is a rare blessing. He has not been too blessed lately.


By the way, the idea that Biden knows anything about foreign policy is obscene.
9.12.2008 10:55am
The Ace (mail):
That fact that she hopes it was a task from god is the scariest thing of all.

Can you then tell us if you think the founders of the United States were "scary" or "nuts" because they actually believed they were being guided by God?


The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing.


I bet you don't believe they actually thought that or something...
9.12.2008 10:58am
DQuart (mail):
I read your first post about this, and to be frank, I don't buy your overall point. I agree to your general point that when someone prays, he or she is praying for something that he or she would like to be true and is not necessarily actually true. First, however, the two are not mutually exclusive, hence, Charlie's question. Some may pray for God to continue to act its will. So Palin could reasonably believe that the invasion was God's will and for the war to continue to be God's will. More importantly, do we actually want someone who is about to be a "change-maker" to believe that actions of war and peace should be dictated by god? As someone who believes in the power of individual action, I find that incredibly scary.
9.12.2008 10:58am
Whadonna More:
Palin, Lindgren and the majority of commenters are avoiding the obvious truth. The Palin-suggested prayer is unlike Lincoln's comment in a very important way - Lincoln made a statement of hope in the righteousness of a human undertaking - Palin was requesting that a possibly wrong undertaking be ratified as right.

To pray we are doing G*d's work in taking action X means that we're asking G*d to change his mind and support us if he was against X when we started. He need do nothing if he was for X when we started and the prayer is mere self-affirmation.

Lincoln said "I hope WE'RE on G*d's side"
Palin said "I hope G*d gets on OUR side (if he isn't already)"
9.12.2008 11:00am
The Ace (mail):
Hey the Ace:

Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska


Your timing is impeccable!


Al Qaeda's senior leadership has lost confidence in its commander in Iraq and views the situation in the country as dire, according to a series of letters intercepted by Multinational Forces Iraq earlier this year.

The letters, which have been sent exclusively to The Long War Journal by Multinational Forces Iraq, are a series of communications between Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's second in command, Abu Ayyub al Masri, al Qaeda in Iraq's leader, and Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the leader of al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq. These letters were intercepted by Coalition forces in Baghdad on April 24, 2008. One of the letters written by Zawahiri is dated March 6, 2008.

Coalition forces found the letters in the possession of a senior al Qaeda in Iraq leader called Abu Nizar, whose real name is Ali Hamid Ardeny al Essawi. He was killed after he stopped at a checkpoint in Baghdad and later identified by al Qaeda operatives in custody.



Again, it is no longer possible to parody you folks.
9.12.2008 11:01am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
I've done meticulous study on the personal faiths of America's Founders. And while I have found that just about all of the key Founders (including the first 4-6 Presidents) arguably were NOT "Christian" because they either rejected or seemed to ignore Trinitarian Christology, each (including Jefferson and Franklin) was a theist, not a Deist, believing in an active personal God. And they especially believed in a God who was pro-political liberty and on the US's side in the Revolutionary War.

[Which again, in not even an authentically "Christian" belief given the side against which we fought -- Great Britain -- was just as much a "Christian" Nation in a demographic sense. And ideas of rebellion and political liberty have nothing to do with the Bible or Christian religion. Or if anything the Tories had the more traditional biblical argument based on Romans 13].
9.12.2008 11:08am
The Ace (mail):
we should really be worrying about Palin's attitudes toward Georgia. Would she take us to war with Russia if we let Georgia into NATO and the hot-headed president of Georgia decides he wants to provoke a conflict?

Do you think we should ask Obama the same question?


Ukraine and Georgia have also been developing their ties with NATO. Their leaders have declared their readiness to advance a NATO Membership Action Plan, MAP, to prepare for the rights and obligations of membership. They are working to consolidate democratic reforms and to undertake new responsibilities in their relationship with the Alliance. I welcome the desire and actions of these countries to seek closer ties with NATO and hope that NATO responds favorably to their request, consistent with its criteria for membership


Because he apparently wants them in NATO:

"I have consistently called for deepening relations between Georgia and transatlantic institutions, including a Membership Action Plan for NATO, and we must continue to press for that deeper relationship," Obama says.


So would Obama go to war over Georgia?
9.12.2008 11:10am
DQuart (mail):
The Ace-

Those gaffes in the article 1) are relatively innocent. I am sure that there were no hard feelings for not realizing someone was handicapped (assuming he couldn't see). I would imagine the state senator was pleased to be praised by a potential vice president. also with HRC, given Palin its amusing to hear her opponent about what might have been. 2) they don't implicate anything about foreign policy, and 3) they are immaterial to any other policy position.

I agree that we might question Biden's views on foreign policy given some of his opinions on Iraq, and some of his domestic policy views given his vote for the 2005 bankruptcy reform. Nevertheless, at least at a time of crisis he was thinking out of the box.

If Biden doesn't know anything about foreign policy, who does? Obama. In my opinion, anyone who supported Iraq should not be at the top of the ticket.

Lastly, regarding this god thing. Why would anyone pray to god to have an oil pipeline built. Maybe Iraq given the implications, but a pipeline? Give me a break!
9.12.2008 11:10am
good strategy (mail):

New commenter 'Good Strategy' says the Bush Doctrine is preemption. [Not being sure of the real answer, said commenter blames it on a 'high school student of mine'] Whoever is responsible, their answer was wrong.


Um, no. The Bush doctrine, among other things, is really about preventative war. Often times they'll spin that as in response to an imminent threat (e.g. Iraq is about to get WMD!) which is what the idea of preemption is. (Actually, the beginning of the 6 day war is really the best example of preemption, which is entirely different and more reasonable than prevention). They've intentionally blurred the distinction. The Bush doctrine also includes the entirely reasonable notion that non-state actors can't be allowed safe havens, and thus, states that don't take proactive action to root out terrorists will be considered to be accomplices. "You are either with us, or against us" has been demagouged by people on the left, but when it came to state to state relations it needed to be said, and, if you read Obama's statement in the NH debate posted above, is not terribly controversial as a partisan issue. The Bush doctrine, as doctrine, could be the basis for decent policy, but the Bush doctrine as applied (in Iraq) and its misunderstanding about the limits of American power has not worked out. The doctrine may be sound, but it still requires leaders who can use their judgment.

Said student got a Congressional internship the summer after 9th grade with Tom Lantos and has actually read the 2002 NSS. He's a pretty hawkish Democrat when you get down to it. Whether he misspoke or was being generous to the Bush Doctrine is immaterial, the point is that our VP ought to know as much about foreign policy as a gifted HS student.


So tell us, why are all those Democrats linking Iraq to
9-11?


Because our government lied and misrepresented the intelligence data, and because the Democrats were too lazy to ask enough questions to get to the bottom of it. They trusted in the basic integrity of our national leaders, and were too chicken to take a stand with midterm elections approaching. A sorry state of affairs.

There are at least 4 types of people: truly smart (rare), smart, stupid, and then those that are so stupid that they don't even realize that they are stupid. Defending Palin's foreign policy answers yesterday falls into that last category.
9.12.2008 11:10am
I'm a Guest Here Myself . . .:
Kristol nails it. Sorry that some of you Obamabots don't want to acknowledge the obvious, but our troops in Iraq are in fact defending us against Al Qaeda. Was that true before the War in Iraq? Maybe not. Is it true today? That's not a debatable point.

http://www.weeklystandard.com

See the Kristol blog


So when Palin tells those troops that they are defending us against Al Qaeda, (a) how is she linking Iraq to 9/11 and (b) why is she wrong?

It's fun to watch some of you contort yourself. Just own up to the fact that the Post screwed up and has already started its own damage control by editing its original story even if it leaves in the first paragraph (which makes no sense given the new second paragraph).
9.12.2008 11:23am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Here's another one from Washington on the Revolutionary War.

"The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations…."

Though Washington had an interesting definition of "infidelity": You had to believe God was on the side of the Americans. In Founding era parlance, "infidelity" usually meant someone to one's religious left. To Franklin and Washington, atheists and strict Deists were "infidels." But to the orthodox, Franklin and Washington (because they didn't believe in Trinitarian Christology) were "infidels." Hence the need for "infidels" like the first 4 Presidents to keep their mouths shut about their religious specifics and not publicly "rock the boat" so to speak.

Paine did a lot of boat rocking and was publicly ruined for it.
9.12.2008 11:28am
markH (mail):
CG: Waddya think of the Bush Doctrine?
SP: Never heard of it
CG: Seriously. Waddya think?
SP: Honestly, I have no idea what you're talking about.
CG: It was in the papers.
SP: It's something about killing muslims but not doing it very well. Oh, and there's an election coming up, so it's all cool.
CG: Sorry but that is not correct. Thank you for being a contestant.
9.12.2008 11:29am
The Ace (mail):
Because our government lied and misrepresented the intelligence data,

Something you have no proof of. For example, if Iraq had no connections to international terrorism, why did AQ flock there?

Otherwise, I did enjoy this:

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about-Since you did support the resolution and you did support that ultimate solution to go into combat and to take over that government and occupy that country. Do you think that you, as a United States Senator, got the straight story from the Bush administration on this war? On the need for the war? Did you get the straight story?

EDWARDS: Well, the first thing I should say is I take responsibility for my vote. Period. And I did what I did based upon a belief, Chris, that Saddam Hussein's potential for getting nuclear capability was what created the threat. That was always the focus of my concern. Still is the focus of my concern.

So did I get misled? No. I didn't get misled.

MATTHEWS: Did you get an honest reading on the intelligence?

EDWRADS: But now we're getting to the second part of your question.

I think we have to get to the bottom of this. I think there's clear inconsistency between what's been found in Iraq and what we were told.

And as you know, I serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee. So it wasn't just the Bush administration. I sat in meeting after meeting after meeting where we were told about the presence of weapons of mass destruction. There is clearly a disconnect between what we were told and what, in fact, we found there.




They trusted in the basic integrity of our national leaders

If Tom Daschle was not a "national leader" who, pray tell, was?
9.12.2008 11:33am
The Ace (mail):
Defending Palin's foreign policy answers yesterday falls into that last category.

So does typing silly, deranged lies about "the government."
9.12.2008 11:36am
Rich W (mail):
KWC

You state: I think you are superficially correct, but I think you are intentionally not looking deeper into her statement. Yes, she framed her statement that the war was a task from God as a "prayer," but it doesn't seem like she is actually asking God anything. That is, she is not open to the war NOT being from God. She is saying: I hope this war is a task from God, but if it's not, well, then what?

This is common fallacy. She is praying her will onto God. She is asking God to confirm what she wants to be true. She is not going to get confirmation from God one way or the other. It is not as if God will respond: "This is not my will" and then she'll say the war is wrong.

Do you REALLY not see the nuance? Or is your unfettered support for Palin blinding you?

KWC:

You have to be kidding? I as a Christian, not fundamentalist in the least, I pray that I am doing God's will. I pray that our leaders are doing God's will. BUT, I do not know what His will is and I also honest don't go to the point of saying if not, what then? I am hoping that I receive guidance from God and if His guidance says I am wrong then I must change my actions to conform to His.

I am no way presumptuous enough to believe that I should be telling God to change and I doubt Sarah Palin is either. Besides, when people look for nuance they usually find it.

The idea that someone, (Worried) is scared because he thinks Palin hopes it was a task from God is telling us more about Worried than Sarah Palin. We who pray, always hope that what we do, the task, is God's will. We are trying to do what is right and so just like Palin we hope that what ever the task is it is God's will. And it is a bit different from the terrorists, we do not believe it is God's will to just go and kill people but God does allow us to defend ourselves which may entail people being killed.


Rich
9.12.2008 11:38am
Elliot123 (mail):
"Anyway it seems a bit odd to pray for something to be god's will (what would it change?), but that's probably because I'm a godless atheist who doesn't get the sublime truth of prayer."

Being an athiest doesn't diminish one's ability to analyze and understand other viewpoints. Many Christians believe god does have a plan for humanity. They believe some hman actions are in accord with that plan, and some are not. They pray that their own actions are congruent with that plan, and ask their god to lead them in the direction of his plan.

While I don't subscribe to their ideas, they are not difficult to undestand.
9.12.2008 11:44am
Bored Lawyer:

Bored Lawyer: Gibson asked Obama pretty much the same questions about the Bush Doctrine and Pakistan in a debate in New Hampshire


The two are not even remotely "pretty much the same question," although they do cover the same subject matter. Obama was asked about a specific part of the world and specific policy he would apply there. Palin was asked about the "Bush Doctrine" which seems to have at least three working definitions (and Gibson's own definition is one that has been accepted in Western International law for 400 years.)

I don't know about Obama and Palin, but personally I would have a much easier time answer a focused, specific question like Obama got than a broad, vague question like Palin got. The latter seems more like a gotcha question than a serious attempt to discuss policy.
9.12.2008 11:46am
Al (mail):

Because our government lied and misrepresented the intelligence data, and because the Democrats were too lazy to ask enough questions to get to the bottom of it.


I don't think it was laziness on the part of Congressional Democrats. They had every reason to believe the assertions made by the Clinton administration regarding Saddam's weapons programs, particularly given the fact that the Clinton administration's assertions were consistent with the underlying intelligence data that they also had access to.
9.12.2008 11:51am
Hoosier:
If Biden doesn't know anything about foreign policy, who does?

Dick Lugar.

Who always looks pained at SFRC hearings when the cameras are on for Biden's "questions".
9.12.2008 11:52am
Bandon:
The Ace:

Can you then tell us if you think the founders of the United States were "scary" or "nuts" because they actually believed they were being guided by God?

Although the Founders did often refer to God in speech and writing, they were "scared" enough by the potential abuses of religion that they made sure that there was a separation between church and state in the operations of the U.S. government. Setting personal religious beliefs aside, they were smart enough to realize that making every law or government action into a "mission from God" was a recipe for failure.
9.12.2008 11:53am
I'm a Guest Here Myself . . .:
So what is the Bush Doctrine? Ask ABC News and see if they can come up with a straight answer:



A lot of intellectual dishonesty this morning. Can't wait for the election to be over so that people will stop rationalizing these things. Is Palin a foreign policy expert? Not by a long shot. She should have been less dogmatic about Georgia (if they are in NATO, yes, we will defend them — that's kind of the point). We should talk about "serious consideration" for Georgia's NATO membership, because allowing them in is a big step that will require defense in the case of an attack, which is why we shouldn't be so ready to commit to it (though hinting is part of the diplomatic game).

But is it fair to ask what someone means by "the Bush Doctrine?" Absolutely. And if you are being honest, rather than a partisan looking for blood, you'd acknowledge as much.
9.12.2008 11:55am
Ben P (mail):

Something you have no proof of. For example, if Iraq had no connections to international terrorism, why did AQ flock there?


Uh, because we were there?

This isn't that hard of a concept, and this is coming from someone who supported the war from the beginning, but for somewhat different reasons than were publically bandied about.

I was pretty skeptical of the WMD claims, and the 9/11 inferences drawn were pretty thin. If you want to talk about "evil dictators" that's fine, but that's clearly not the sole justification. However, I saw a general connection between Iraq and the war in terror in that it's generally countries that are most disconnected from Globalization are those that tend to produce the most terrorists. If we could successfully foster a more pro-western state in Iraq, it's influence would be important in opening the rest of the region. For more on this chain of thinking google "the pentagon's new map by Thomas Barnett.


But, that aside, trying to Link Al-Queda to the start of the war in Iraq is simply barking up the wrong tree. Al-Queda came to Iraq to attack the US forces there. The only real exception was Ansar-Al-Islam which was in a part of the country not substantially controlled by Saddam. Al-Queda in Iraq didn't exist until 2004, and it's predecessor JTJ (or TWJ, it was Zarqawi's group prior to becoming AQI) formed at some point in the beginning of 2003
9.12.2008 11:55am
Bored Lawyer:
With respect to the prayer question, I really think some of the comments are off the mark. No one claims that Sarah Palin is a theologian. The point is that her prayer is well within the mainstream of Christian thought and is similar to the thoughts enunciated by Abraham Lincoln, no less, as well as others in American history. If you find that view illogical or disturbing that is your right -- but it hardly disqualifies Palin from office nor paints her as some religious fanatic.
9.12.2008 11:56am
I'm a Guest Here Myself . . .:
Ben P,

I tend to agree about the link between Hussein and the 9/11 attcks, but it's ultimately irrelevant as Palin wasn't making that link. She was simply telling those troops that they were defending us against the people who attacked us, which is an absolutely correct statement of the facts given the presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq since at least 2004.
9.12.2008 11:58am
PaulD (mail):
This is an honest question from a person who admitted likes Palin: How is Palin's actual foreign policy experience significantly different from the following former governors when they were running for President: Carter, Reagan, Dukakas, Clinton, Bush W., Dean, Romney, Huckabee?
9.12.2008 12:01pm
Tom Spaulding (www):
Charlie Gibson does not know the details of the Christ Doctrine. He botched the prayer question. He is unqualified.
9.12.2008 12:03pm
I'm a Guest Here Myself . . .:
9.12.2008 12:07pm
The Ace (mail):
Although the Founders did often refer to God in speech and writing, they were "scared" enough by the potential abuses of religion that they made sure that there was a separation between church and state in the operations of the U.S. government. Setting personal religious beliefs aside, they were smart enough to realize that making every law or government action into a "mission from God" was a recipe for failure.

Do you want to take a guess as to why you didn't answer thw question posed?

Further, you do realize you're the only one accusing Palin of making "every" government action a mission from God, right?
9.12.2008 12:10pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Anyone who voted Kerry-Edwards in '04, or voted for John Edwards in the Dem primaries (or planned to do so) is hereby excused from this and all future discussions re: Sarah Palin's qualifications.
9.12.2008 12:12pm
The Ace (mail):
However, I saw a general connection between Iraq and the war in terror in that it's generally countries that are most disconnected from Globalization are those that tend to produce the most terrorists. If we could successfully foster a more pro-western state in Iraq, it's influence would be important in opening the rest of the region

Fair enough. But nobody can dispute that is what Palin believes, as Bush believes this too, so I think we can conclude she is of the same mindset.
9.12.2008 12:13pm
Ben P (mail):

I really think some of the comments are off the mark. No one claims that Sarah Palin is a theologian. The point is that her prayer is well within the mainstream of Christian thought and is similar to the thoughts enunciated by Abraham Lincoln, no less, as well as others in American history. If you find that view illogical or disturbing that is your right -- but it hardly disqualifies Palin from office nor paints her as some religious fanatic.


I do think that really depends on how you interpret her comments.

Lindgren's posts aside, they are open to interpretation.

It's certainly plausible to interpret her comments to be asking people to pray the Iraq war is "the right thing to do."

But I think any objective viewing of what she said also admits the plausibility that her statement implies something else. It's not necessarily that Iraq "is" a task from god as the news have reported it, but it is talking in the express context of Iraq being part of "gods plan" or "god having a plan" for Iraq that is hopefully being enacted by our leaders.
9.12.2008 12:20pm
DQuart (mail):
Hoosier- Dick Lugar is very smart. I was pleased to see him criticism the Bush administration- albeit he could have called for a timetable for withdrawal. I support his views on Law of the Sea and also on nuclear proliferation. I wouldn't be surprised to see either him or Chuck Hagel as a Secretary of Defense in an Obama administration.

wuzzagrunt- Why? Because Bush was so much better of a choice in '04? Conservatives are in denial that the last eight years have been a miserable failure for the United States, both domestically and internationally. I don't care about Palin's "qualifications." I care about how she and McCain will continue to let this country fall into an abyss.
9.12.2008 12:22pm
David M (www):
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 09/12/2008 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
9.12.2008 12:28pm
SG:
I can't fault anybody who finds Palin unqualified for the VP slot. Her record is thin, an the interview doesn't to boost it much. But her answers, vague though they were, weren't "wrong" by any conventional sense of the word, but she's not a foreign policy wonk (and has never claimed to be). I certainly wouldn't vote for her as president at this point.

But she does have some record of competency and even expertise in energy policy. I'd argue energy policy is the most important single issue facing the country at this point - foreign policy, economic conditions, and climate change all revolve around it. And she does have a (limited) record of fiscally responsible governance.

And she's not running against the platonic ideal of a VP. She and McCain are running against Obama/Biden. That's a pretty low bar. What are their qualifications again - besides not being George Bush, that is?
9.12.2008 12:33pm
pluribus:
PaulD:

This is an honest question from a person who admitted likes Palin: How is Palin's actual foreign policy experience significantly different from the following former governors when they were running for President: Carter, Reagan, Dukakas, Clinton, Bush W., Dean, Romney, Huckabee?

And this is an honest answer. All of those candidates campaigned in the primaries. They gave speeches, took policy positions, and answered questions. They ran campaign organizations, sought contributions, and took their chances with voters. Their weaknesses were pointed out by their primary opponents. Not one of them was plucked from national obscurity into the number two spot. Palin was, and we now have less than 60 days to find out who she is and why she thinks she is qualified to be president (as she gold Gibson we is). I think we have a lot of learning to do in a short time. I frankly don't want the US to go to war with Russia over Georgia, and I want to know if Palin thinks we should.
9.12.2008 12:40pm
PLR:
It's certainly plausible to interpret her comments to be asking people to pray the Iraq war is "the right thing to do."

But I think any objective viewing of what she said also admits the plausibility that her statement implies something else.

I am not a Sarah Palin fanboy, and not a fan of many of Lindgren's purely political topics and his faux objectivity. But in this case, Palin simply did not say that the Iraq War was a mission from God, and you don't need to be a Clintonian word parser to see that.

Reasonable people ought to realize that the statement may be controversial on other grounds. But the level of the debate apparently won't allow for that discussion, just as the nonsense about Palin's "listing" vs. "sale" of the state airplane on eBay obfuscates the real issue about whether eBay would ever be an appropriate venue for maximizing the value of an asset such as that.
9.12.2008 12:42pm
Bored Lawyer:

I frankly don't want the US to go to war with Russia over Georgia, and I want to know if Palin thinks we should.


Ummm, how about finding out whether McCAIN or OBAMA thinks we should? Because it seems from what I have read, the answer is YES.
9.12.2008 12:43pm
Arkady:

But she does have some record of competency and even expertise in energy policy.


It's not immediately obvious, however, that expertise on energy policy as it pertains to Alaska is applicable nationally. Is it?
9.12.2008 12:46pm
The Ace (mail):
All of those candidates campaigned in the primaries. They gave speeches, took policy positions, and answered questions.

Um, all of those candidates were running for President.
9.12.2008 12:48pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
Anyway it seems a bit odd to pray for something to be god's will ....

Look, get a clue, wouldja? If you pray for rain, it doesn't mean that it's already raining.
9.12.2008 12:50pm
Floridan:
With all these posts on how Sarah Palin is being mistreated by the press, it seems Jim Lindgren is becoming Bob Somerby's evil twin.
9.12.2008 12:54pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
To metro, who thinks the question on the Bush Doctrine was misleading:

The original question just asked for her opinion on it. If Palin knew what she was talking about, she could have given an answer to it. I think this was a "Jeopardy" type of question. If she partly knew what it was (like Gibson), she could have commented on the part that she knew about. If she were more experienced in answering questions, even when she doesn't know the answer, she could have said, "Which aspect of that doctrine did you want me to talk about?" That would have given the impression she knew what she was talking about, but elicited a clarification from Gibson that may have given her enough information to answer his question.

The way she did answer the question betrayed her lack of knowledge on the subject AND therefore, her inexperience in answering questions.

This is similar to the questions about Georgia and NATO. She could have said that the McCain policy is that NATO membership should be extended to include Georgia and the Ukraine. When Gibson said, won't that mean war with Russia, she could have declined to answer hypotheticals (the Hillary tactic) or she could have said that, under NATO's rules, the nations that are a member of NATO decide how to respond when one of them is attacked. Or she could have said that the point of NATO membership would be to deter any attack, from any country, on its members (a non-answer, but one Condi Rice might give, e.g.). Again, Palin answered the question directly, which is refreshing but shows a lack of sophistication. But, she plainly is smart, so perhaps she will learn from this encounter and do better next time.

I notice that Prof Lindgren, while obsessed with what he believes are misinterpretations of Palin's "God's will" remarks (which I find more ambiguous), is completely silent on her obvious misrepresentations of her record regarding earmarks --e.g. "I said to Congress, "thanks but no thanks" on the Bridge to Nowhere." That is why he is showing a partisan bias, for me, in all of his posts on Palin. What he chooses to emphasize is either a defense against any attacks on Palin or negative posts about Obama. I can only conclude that he, like many it seems, is smitten with her.

I for one think she and Obama should play a quick game of basketball, one-on-one (maybe Horse). It would show the public that fierce competitors can put politics aside and have fun. But, that is just wishful thinking.
9.12.2008 12:56pm
Whadonna More:

Bored Lawyer:
The point is that her prayer is well within the mainstream of Christian thought and is similar to the thoughts enunciated by Abraham Lincoln, no less, as well as others in American history.


Palin's thoughts are similar to Lincoln's thoughts in the way hubris is similar to humility.
9.12.2008 1:02pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):


Now, maybe someone can correct me, but even with my half-semester of formal Logic I can see that this is a distinction without a difference.


You bet; in fact, as a logician/computer scientist who also did philosophy as an undergrad, I'll be happy to.

First of all, with a half-semester of formal logic, you won't have been exposed to most all of the logic that you need to interpret the statement logically at all, because you need a stronger system than first order logic. But you'd be better off looking at it as syllogistic logic of rhetoric anyway.

The main point is, as I noted above, that "pray" doesn't assert a statement of fact: I pray for X doesn't translate to a predicate "X holds". It is, instead, supplication: is makes a statement out the internal state of the speaker, that (s)he here, speaking to another conscious and rational entity, hopes that what (s)he is doing is indeed what that other entity wants. It's logically more like saying "I didn't know what you wanted, so I brought you a Coke."
9.12.2008 1:04pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

I find it hard to believe that Anderson Cooper [and now, Charlie Gibson] does not understand the difference between praying for something you hope is true and stating that it is true.


At least,g iven the number of other people who don't seem to understand the word "pray", I suppose it becomes easier to believe.
9.12.2008 1:05pm
js5 (mail):
well you've convinced me Hoosier. I guess the second most powerful person in the world doesn't need to now anything about HC. Or FP. At least she knows.....energy. She's self-described as the most knowledgable person on the subject even.
9.12.2008 1:07pm
Henry679 (mail):
It would be nice if conservative political thought could exist independent of repeated invocations of the God BS, but Barry Goldwater is long dead I guess.
9.12.2008 1:18pm
Suzy (mail):
The scary part of Palin's speech was never the part mentioned above. Rather, it was that after listing off some infrastructure projects she wanted the church to pray for, she said that none of it would accomplish anything unless the hearts of the people of Alaska were right with God.

What does that mean? When you as Governor say that the citizens of your state, who presumably are free to have the wide range of religious views that they do, need to have their hearts right with God before your work as Governor can do any good, what does that mean? What it says to me is very simple: this person is an extremist who will let her religious views influence her political decisions.

And regardless of whether Gibson was lying, misinterpreting her remark, or getting it right, his interview showed very plainly that this woman has no business being the VP. She is uninformed and downright reckless in answering these questions. She thinks the view of Russia from Alaska gives her special insight into Russia's actions. The continued breathless defense of her on this blog is an embarrassment.
9.12.2008 1:25pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Reminds me of Joe Louis' flubbed statement, when he said, "We're gonna win because we're on God's side." Not the expected: "We're gone win because God's on our side."

I find both equally offensive... to presume god is on your "side" or to presume you are on god's "side" ... quite frankly I don't see much of a difference, they both require knowledge of the political mindset of the creator of the universe, which is simply an asinine thing to claim. Everyone thinks they are fighting for good. Nobody, not even the Nazis, believed their actions were evil. Everyone thinks they're on "god's side."

If it comes down to whose believe in god is stronger, then the islamic terrorists certainly have us beat. I don't see any Sunday Christians undertaking suicide missions for god. As an atheist, I say that's a good thing. The less acting on religion, the better. If war is necessary, does it really matter what god thinks? We went into Iraq for bad if nebulous reasons, none of which were "god wanted it" (at least not publicly).

Maybe god wants america to be destroyed. Surely that's a possibility. If you disagree, how do you know what god thinks? Don't presume god is your god, as god is equally as likely to be the "god" of another religion.
9.12.2008 1:29pm
Ben P (mail):

It would be nice if conservative political thought could exist independent of repeated invocations of the God BS, but Barry Goldwater is long dead I guess.


At the risk of angering people, I think that's a part and parcel of the evolution of the "southern strategy." The Political Conservative/Traditional groups also tend to be disproportionately religious.

by tying their political fate to the conservative reaction against the Liberal movements of the 70's, (Nixon's South, Reagan Democrats) Conservatives have fundamentally tied themselves to the religious beliefs of those same cohorts.

That's why running on a republican ticket is such a Tightrope for people like McCain who do not make their religious faith a part of their political standpoint. he was in major danger of alienating that part of his Base. From his perspective, Palin was an absolutely perfect pick to get them on his side. Not only that she's a "big personality" taht brings things to the ticket that he lacks.
9.12.2008 1:33pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Rather than agonizing over whether Gibson asked his questions properly, we should really be worrying about Palin's attitudes toward Georgia."

Yes and we should worry about all the candidates attitudes towards Georgia. Are you folks really prepared to fight a war over Georgia, or even over Ukraine?

According to Wikipedia, Georgia suffered a piecemeal absorption into the Russian Empire in the 19th Century, enjoyed a few years of independence after the Russian Revolution, and then got reabsorbed after a naked act of aggression when the Red Army invaded in 1922. Then Georgia regained independence in 1991. Since Georgia has belonged to Russia in whole or in part for almost 200 years, it's natural for them to want it back. Given Georgia's desirable geography and history, it seems reasonable to suppose that Russia would regard Georgia as a vital interest and might be willing to fight the US over it. A US weakened by a severe financial crisis, two wars, more than 30 years of incompetent government, disunity, politicians bickering over trivialities, and strained energy resources because a pack of loony environmentalist have crippled exploration and development. Does anyone think Russia worries about carbon emissions?
9.12.2008 1:50pm
Ryan (mail):
We can go into Lewis Carrol here. .

"YOu might as well say that "I eat what I like" is the same as "I like what I eat"

Or that "I mean what I say' is the same as 'I say what I mean'

Or that "I work for my boss' is the same as 'my boss works for me.

THe differenc ebetween "I pray god is on our side' and 'I pray tat we are on God's side' is in who is the subject and who is the object. Who is the leader and who is the follower, its plain as day and no amount of snarky semantic language parsing makes it otherwise.
9.12.2008 1:51pm
Arr-Squared (mail):
I can't believe that the McCain campaign's hand-selected interviewer turned out to be a raging sexist dhimmicrat. Musta been some vetting process.
9.12.2008 1:53pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I found Gov. Palin's prayer quite acceptable as a mainstream Protestant. And I think I am more vigilant here than most - faulting TV evagangelists for having people pray for material wealth, one of our ministers praying to Jesus, or, when I heard a RC priest praying to the Saints recently over my girlfriend. I also was offput by Gen. Patten's prayer for weather, etc. during the Battle of the Bulge.

What I think is going on has several aspects. First, there is an attempt to tar Gov. Palin as a fundamentalist, etc., and tie her to what we see so often on TV, with people praying for a new car, etc. Also, I suspect that a lot of those condemning her, probably not here, but in the media, are not overly devout, if Christian at all, didn't understand the careful distinction she made, and read their biases onto what she said.
9.12.2008 1:54pm
DerHahn (mail):
I see a number of people have tried to instruct the logically challenged commenters about Palin's statement.

On the 'distinction without a difference', saying 'I don't know what x is, but I hope it is y', is not the same as saying 'I know x is an example of y'.
9.12.2008 2:13pm
KWC (mail):
Jim,

If what you claim to be the true interpretation of her words were actually the true interpretation, you'd think she would have said so. It's clear she didn't think that. Instead, she resorted to a prepared answer, given to her by someone (obviously) that what she was saying was like something Abe Lincoln said (she even has the audacity to imply that she was actually echoing Lincoln in her speech, as if she had thought of it at the time, which is HIGHLY suspect).

Sigh. Whatever. Volokh.com is now McCain-Palin campaign central.
9.12.2008 2:14pm
LM (mail):
subpatre:

LM claims ...there are only two options: Praying her will onto God, or God's will onto her."

I didn't say, nor do I believe that there are only two options. I said, "As [KWC] framed it, there are only two options". [emphasis mine]

Isn't it ironic you'd do that in a thread about misquoting people to change their meaning? And where I was actually defending your candidate, but apparently not in precisely the way you'd like?
9.12.2008 2:15pm
I'm a Guest Here Myself . . .:
Suzy, you're the reckless one,

Should we all just accept whatever the MSM says? Should we accept the fact that there is a uniform definition of the "Bush Doctrine" even though ABC News and Charlie Gibson himself have expressed that "doctrine" in different and distinct forms at various points?

Should we just accept that Palin linked Iraq to the 9/11 attack themself rather than note that what she actually said was that our troops are defending us against Al Qaeda in Iraq, which is an unquestionably true statement? Is it reckless to point out that a MSM source bungled that so badly that they've already changed their story (if not the erroneous headline accompanying the story)?

Should we accept that when Charlie Gibson was saying that Palin's "exact words" were the ones he quoted, that the words only included a part of a larger sentence? If so, should we take out "not" and repeat the rest of someone's sentence and say they support a particular policy -- after all, those would be the exact words used by the person even if the omission of another portion categorically changes the meaning.

There is a place for reasoned debate about whether Palin is qualified to be VP, just as there are ample grounds to debate Obama's qualifications. I don't think a position for or against either candidate is unreasonable on that front. But get off the high horse and stop acting like it's unreasonable for people to defend against baseless attacks. If you had an OUNCE of intellectual honesty, you'd concede that a number of the claims being made against Palin are baseless. That doesn't leave you without arguments. But it does make your task more difficult, and perhaps that is why you argue your point at such a high level of generality rather than getting into the specific points being made.
9.12.2008 2:15pm
Whadonna More:

Charlie (Colorado) - It's logically more like saying "I didn't know what you wanted, so I brought you a Coke."


Nope. She said "I brought you a Coke, tell me that's what you wanted."
9.12.2008 2:19pm
The Ace (mail):
She said "I brought you a Coke, tell me that's what you wanted."

Really?

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."


Because that is not what you said...
9.12.2008 2:24pm
nicestrategy (mail):

Because our government lied and misrepresented the intelligence data,

Something you have no proof of.


Have you heard of "Curveball?" That one, extremely conflicted covert source's information was summarized in a way that obscured the fact that we had one covert source with a conflict of interest. Our lack of actual inside intelligence is a matter of public record at this point.

They said there were mobile weapons labs. There weren't.

They said Iraq was trying to buy nuke parts in Africa and from German companies. Dubious. They squashed information to the contrary by leaking the name of a covert asset.

They leaked things to the NYT which they splashed repeatedly on the front page that claimed "senior government officials" were very confident about the intelligence. Shortly thereafter, Cheney appears on Sunday morning shows and cites the NYT article as evidence of their reasonableness. Turns out Cheney was the senior government official.

Ambiguity was edited out of CIA briefings as they went up the ladder.

The Downing Street Memo.

The UN teams found nothing.

And I'm sorry that your political vocabulary is ignorant of the usage of the word "government" for "executive branch." Actually I'm not sorry for that, you lack of knowledge is something for you to be sorry about.

Yes, the Clinton administration was wrong, too, and Hussein was acting guilty. I thought so at the time, and supported the war on that basis. But we were all working on assumptions, and as you should know, to assume is to make an ass out of u and me.
9.12.2008 2:24pm
The Ace (mail):
If what you claim to be the true interpretation of her words were actually the true interpretation, you'd think she would have said so. It's clear she didn't think that.

Really?

GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?

PALIN: You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote.


I think it is clear she did think that.
9.12.2008 2:26pm
The Ace (mail):
The Downing Street Memo

You mean the one that was destroyed and retyped by a journalist?

Or do you mean the one that outlines the parties being fearful of Iraq using their WMD's?

And I'm sorry that your political vocabulary is ignorant of the usage of the word "government" for "executive branch." Actually I'm not sorry for that, you lack of knowledge is something for you to be sorry about.

Hilarious.
Um, I was working in the Senate when you were in grade school, you clown. "The government" is not just the "executive branch."

They said there were mobile weapons labs. There weren't.

Um, that is not proof of any "lie" or "misrepresentation"

They squashed information to the contrary by leaking the name of a covert asset.

Your ignornace is astounding.


Wilson's assertions -- both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information -- were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report.

The panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson's assertions and even the government's previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address.


You, nor anyone reading, can explain how "outing" a CIA agent would "squash" any silly claim.

Come back when you have the foggiest idea what you're talking about.
9.12.2008 2:31pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

I think it is clear she did think that.


Because, after all, it's not what she said, and not what she restated. How could it be any clearer?
9.12.2008 2:31pm
The Ace (mail):
Turns out Cheney was the senior government official.

Something you have no proof of.

the Clinton administration was wrong,

Wrong?

WRONG?


Clinton told King: "People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons."



Why didn't they lie too?!

Good grief, you people really can't be parodied.
9.12.2008 2:34pm
Randy R. (mail):
Well, perhaps Palin was quoting Lincoln in her speech. I'm sure her extensive study of history's speeches by great presidents just resounded in her head as she made that off the cuff remark.

So why does it still rankle? Lincoln could say that because he lived in a time when most everyone was indeed religious, and God was used to explain most everything that happened. Your child just died? It's God's will.

Today, though, we know that some children get illnesses like leukemia, or are infected with germs, which cause the death. Perhaps its still God's will, but we are less likely to attribute bad things to him. Usually, we sue the doctors, not God.

But even more so, Lincoln never proposed to use God or religion to dictate how or what we are taught in schools, regulate our bodies, condemn gay people, or otherwise be the morality police of the world. Palin, on the other hand, is part of that whole business.

So when she invokes God, there is a perception altoghether different than when Lincoln invokes God. With Lincoln, I get all goose pimply; with people like Palin, I shudder and run for my life.

Which, of course, is probably what she wants me to do....
9.12.2008 2:35pm
LM (mail):
BTW, if Charlie Gibson were smart enough to even have an agenda, he'd have asked Palin not about acting preemptively to stop an imminent attack, but preventively to avoid a potential one. The latter was the justification given for attacking Iraq, and what makes the Iran issue so pregnant.
9.12.2008 2:35pm
Milhouse (www):
Suzy: "If God does not build a house, those who build it work for nothing; if God does not guard a city, the guard is diligent for nothing".

Christopher Cooke: If she were more experienced in answering questions, even when she doesn't know the answer, she could have said, "Which aspect of that doctrine did you want me to talk about?"

Er, that's almost exactly what she did say:
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
9.12.2008 2:37pm
rarango (mail):
Bruce Hayden: with some notable exceptions, most of this thread is a wonderful example of reading individual biases into an interview. As an earlier poster noted, how is any of the extreme parsing going to change anyone's mind.
9.12.2008 2:39pm
Milhouse (www):
I spotted a new one. Apparently in Charlie Gibson's world there are only two possibly positions on global warming: either one is absolutely certain it's man-made, or one is absolutely certain it isn't. Since Palin has said "I'm not one, though, who would attribute it to being man-made", "there are no discrete human activities that can be regulated or modified to effect change", and "I'm not [...] blaming the changes in our climate on human activity", it follows that she's not telling the truth when she told Gibson "Show me where I have ever said that there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any effect or no effect on climate change".
9.12.2008 2:45pm
umbrelladoc:
Bored Lawyer: This is what I think pretty much the same question is.
Gibson to Palin:
GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
Gibson to Obama:
GIBSON: Senator Obama, because it was you who said in your foreign policy speech that you would go into western Pakistan if you had actionable intelligence to go after it, whether or not the Pakistani government agreed. Do you stand by that?

Later Gibson suggests that Obama's policy is the equivalent of the Bush doctrine, "clarifying" by saying "We can attack if we want to, no matter the sovereignty of the Pakistanis."
Obama indicates that Gibson has mischaracterized the Bush Doctrine, saying that it doesn't apply in this instance because al Qaeda has already attacked the United States, that it is not as Obama said, an anticipated threat in the future.

In Palin's interview, Gibson also misstates the Bush Doctrine, as "the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us." Palin shows that she doesn't understand the implications of the Bush Doctrine, because she accepts this premise and says that she would act if we had intelligence that a threat was imminent. But the policy as stated by Gibson and Palin here is not novel, it's standard international law.

Obama shows that he understands the key change in the Bush Doctrine, that the use of military force is justifiable before threats are imminent.


As articulated by President Bush in the State of Union Address:
" Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes.
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option."

Or the National Security Strategy 2002:
The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction— and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack.

Palin's call for "intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people" is a departure from the Bush Doctrine. If she knew that, she would have corrected Charlie as to his characterization of the Bush Doctrine, highlighted the difference between her and the Bush Administration.
9.12.2008 2:57pm
AndrewNYC (mail):
I find it sickening that she would even "pray that" being in Iraq is God's work.
9.12.2008 3:21pm
MQuinn:
I finally got the chance to view the video of the interview carefully, and given a close watch, I believe that the criticisms of Gibson's (1) asking Palin for a definition of the Bush Doctrine and (2) providing an allegedly wrong definition of the Bush Doctrine are faulty.

Gibson said: "The Bush Doctrine as I understand it is.... Do you agree with that?" (emphasis mine) The key is this portion: "as I understand it". Here is the exchange in context:

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine? PALIN: In what respect, Charlie? GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be? PALIN: His world view. GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war. PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better. GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?

Gibson's "as I understand it" indicates several things. First, that he acknowledges that there is more than one definition of the Bush Doctrine. Second, that Palin's previous answer, while not defining the Doctrine, indicated an understanding of the meaning of the Doctrine, and thus Gibson felt the need to qualify his statement with "as I understand it". Third, it tends to negate claims that he was intentionally asking a "gotcha question", as he appears to acknowledge the amorphous nature of the Doctrine.

My argument is, of course, damaged by the fact that Gibson rejected Palin's initial answer (Palin: "[Bush's] world view") and insinuated that there is an objective definition to the Doctrine (Gibson: "No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war."). However, there are several responses to this counter-argument. First, it is clear that the Bush Doctrine isn't, and nor could it be, a broad and unknowable concept such as "[Bush's] world view," as Palin suggested. Thus, Gibson properly responded with a rejection of the answer. Second, Gibson's subjectifying (not a word, I know) the Doctrine by qualifying his definition with "as I understand it" negates the suggestion that he was asking a gotcha question or that he was proffering his definition as objectively the only proper definition of the Doctrine.

This comment should rightly be attacked as parsing words in the extreme. However, such parsing seems to be the trend of the day.
9.12.2008 3:33pm
KWC (mail):
The Ace:

That's far from "clear." What she should have said was "I wasn't saying that the Iraq War was God's will, I was simply praying that I hope that it is God's will." Plain and simple.

Of course, this type of "prayer" makes no sense. What I think many of you are missing is that the object of the prayer is God and the subject is God's will.

Palin was asking God to make the Iraq War God's will. The reason is this so odd is because the Iraq War should have nothing to do with God. She's necessarily saying that the War is either God's will or not, but that she wants it to be God's will, so that's what she's asking.

It's perverse for someone to ask God to adopt human decisions as His will. It's perverse for her to say, 'we've decided to do this (i.e., have a war) and now we're asking you to make that part of your plan.' What if God says "no"? Her "prayer" doesn't account for that possibility, so she is after all saying that she thinks that the war is (or at the very least should be) God's will.

Whadonna More's Coke analogy is perfectly apt.

If that's not it, then pray tell (pun intended), what is she doing?
9.12.2008 3:34pm
subpatre (mail):
In response to "For example, if Iraq had no connections to international terrorism, why did AQ flock there? "

Ben P replies: "Uh, because we were there?"

No, we are still here, just like before. America didn't pick up and move.

It's true, the Left cannot be parodied.
9.12.2008 3:40pm
Floridan:
Ace: "Again, when in modern political history has the top of one ticket spent so much time attacking the bottom of the other?"

Exactly how much time has Obama spent attacking Palin?

Now, if you want to assume that almost anything and everything Obama says is some sort of code for attacking Palin (O: "Look, I don't want to skirt this issue. . . "; Ace: "See, he's denigrating Palin for not wearing pants!")then I guess you have a point.
9.12.2008 3:47pm
Whadonna More:

The Ace (mail):
She said "I brought you a Coke, tell me that's what you wanted."

Really?


"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Because that is not what you said...

Ace, maybe in your old Senate wisdom you can read "we're praying [] that there is a plan" to mean something sensible.

I don't think she's really suggesting to pray to the US government to have a plan, nor to G*d to make sure the government has a plan. I take it as a normal flub of extemporaneous speech.

Given that portion is a nullity, she says "pray [] that [our] plan is God's plan" - the same as "ask G*d to approve the plan we've undertaken". For purposes of the discussion, that IS what I said in the Coke statement.
9.12.2008 3:57pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Palin should have said "the Bush doctrine is incoherent so it is hard to answer your question."
9.12.2008 4:01pm
Chris Howell (mail) (www):
Sarah Palin's oldest son is named Track. Not Trask.
9.12.2008 5:03pm
David Warner:
Frum:

"But Palin never punted. She tried to bluff her way through, pretending to know what she obviously did not know. It's an understandable impulse, and in the context of a single interview, not so very terrible. But is it an impulse that she'd lay aside once in office? Or is it a deeper habit? A lot may turn on the answer to that question."

I've noticed this in other Palin interviews. On the other hand, when she does know what she's talking about, which is quite often, she demonstrates a stronger grasp of detail - with the ability to connect her positions to the things her constituents actually care about - than the vast majority of politicians. Maybe that makes her cocky on the other questions.

Another strange thing was that her answers read fine and sound fine on radio, but on this video, she comes across a little bit like Edwards in drag. Considering that she didn't make her fame and fortune raping and pillaging Ob/Gyns by perverting the justice system through junk science, this might not be the worst thing in the world, but they better study up for the debate or she'll make Biden look like Cheney. In a good way. For Biden.
9.12.2008 5:15pm
Kazinski:
AndrewNYC:

I find it sickening that she would even "pray that" being in Iraq is God's work.

As opposed to abandoning them to a murderous death cult that wants to take them back to an 11th century caliphate?

There may be a legitimate debate on whether we should have invaded Iraq in the first place, but I happen to agree with George Bush, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Harry Reid, and Jay Rockefeller on that question; where there can be no debate is whether we should have cut and run leaving the Iraqi people to the mercy of a Al-Qaeda manufactured civil war that we had the power, along with the Iraqi people, to prevent.
9.12.2008 5:16pm
David Warner:
On the "OMG HOLY WAR!!!1!!1!1!":

The important distinction is between a prayer (i.e. a request) and a statement (what Gibson quoted by omitting the introductory clause).

This relevant in two ways:

1. A prayer/request is part of a conversation with God. The supplicant may hear God saying tomorrow "Sorry, I'm not into Abu Ghraibs, prayer denied". This is in fact what happened in moderate churches across the land in the 2002-2005 period. A statement is an assertion and thus the end of the conversation. See: Al-Qaeda.

2. A prayer is also explicitly or implicitly an opportunity for contemplation. As sometimes when we hear ourselves advance arguments that don't sound so good coming out of our mouths as they did floating around in our minds, so saying the prayer can often lead people to reconsider their beliefs, to ask themselves - is this God's will as I understand it? A prayer/request is, after all, a question.
9.12.2008 5:24pm
Suzy (mail):
To "Guest": it is not intellectually dishonest of me to post the argument that I did. It may not go into sufficient detail for you, since after all it is a blog comment, but it makes at least one specific claim that you are unable or refusing to rebut. Palin answered a question about her foreign policy experience by citing the geographical proximity of Alaska to Russia as evidence of... Of what I do not know, but I consider that the reckless answer of a person who is not fit for the job she seeks. If you believe otherwise, by all means disagree and tell us why.

The rest of my comment refers to Palin's claim that the hearts of the people of Alaska need to be right with God. I find that disturbing. I did not make any of the other charges against her that your comment presumably attempts to rebut, so who is the intellectually dishonest one here?
9.12.2008 5:33pm
Damian P. (mail) (www):
Yeah, but she's a long-time member of the Assemblies of God, so what more do we need to know?
9.12.2008 6:04pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
To lighten the tone a bit, here's the trailer to the original mission from God -- a matter of raising $5000 to prevent a certain orphanage from being sold for back taxes.
9.12.2008 7:12pm
I'm a Guest Here Myself . . .:
Still you, Suzy. Here's what you said, among other things:

"She thinks the view of Russia from Alaska gives her special insight into Russia's actions. The continued breathless defense of her on this blog is an embarrassment."

First, she didn't say that by viewing Alaska, she had a "special" insight. She noted that the country is in close proximity, with the eyesight comment only illustrating that. Now, if you'd take off your Kosmonaut blinders, you'd probably agree that people who live closer to a particular area tend to have familiarity with the issues there. You probably know more, for instance, about New Jersey (or maybe Illionois or the Northeast) than many on this blog do. But someone in South Dakota probably has some familiarity with the issues that take place in Wyoming. If you read any more into it than that, that's on you. But if you read her remarks, she wasn't claiming a special insight, only familiarity. I know you're looking for things to pick on her about, and while there are some things to pick apart, how about picking on the ones that matter and that are actually true (i.e., is she wrong on drilling in Alaska, is she wrong that we should defend NATO allies that are attacked?). Pointing out that you are familiar with a place and that the place in question is close to where you have lived most of your life is not "reckless." Your claim to the contrary is ridiculous. If that's reckless, let's start picking apart the foreign policy experience of your candidate, who is still in his first term as a U.S. Senator and started running the Presidency before the paint in his congressional office had time to try.

And then to your last point, which was the really egregious one, which is that the "continued, breathless defense" of Palin is an embarassment. That is such an utterly ridiculous statement. I didn't address your issue about Palin's comments about prayer because I actually don't think that's an over-the-top criticism. I cringe when people invoke religion in such instances. That's why I didn't address it. Should I do as you seem to do, and find fault where it doesn't exist? I'm perfectly willing to give you a check mark there. But there is nothing "embarassing" about defending Palin against many of the other bogus charges, and your silly -- and I do mean silly -- statement at the end of your post that it's embarassing for people to defend Palin is what is embarassing.

While there may be particular defenses that are bogus, many are not. And there is nothing in the world wrong with people defending her against these baseless charges. Your intellectual dishonesty lies in the fact that you can't contemplate reasons why people would defend Palin even though there are charges that have been many charges leveled against her that have been shown to be utterly baseless. If you want a debate on the merits, let's have it. But don't try to shut it off in your high-handed fashion because in your hubris, you think everyone should just accept your world view that she's reckless and unqualified.
9.12.2008 7:23pm
Disgusted:
CG was incorrect in saying, "The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we Think is going to attack us." Just because we THINK a country is going to atttack does not give us the right to preemptive strike. We can think all we want about countries.

Unlike CG, Sarah Palin was correct in her reply, "Charlie, if there is LEGITIMATE and enough INTELLIGENCE that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend."
9.12.2008 7:26pm
Bandon:
The Ace:

Do you want to take a guess as to why you didn't answer thw question posed?

Further, you do realize you're the only one accusing Palin of making "every" government action a mission from God, right?


Do you want to take a guess as to why commenters choose not to respond to every silly exaggeration you produce?

And really, Ace, you can't actually believe that I said that Palin was guilty of making every government action a mission from God. Maybe she does believe in that, but I sure don't know if she does. What I do know is that you're pretty defensive about this issue.
9.12.2008 7:38pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
Charles Krauthammer defines the Bush Doctrine:
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.
[snip]
I know something about the subject because, as the Wikipedia entry on the Bush Doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term. In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard...
[snip]
Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Charlie Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, sighing and "sounding like an impatient teacher," as the Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes' reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their stage.
9.12.2008 7:54pm
umbrelladoc:
Disgusted:

Glad you think Governor Palin is right on this one. Because what she said is closer to the position of Senators Obama and Biden than President Bush or John McCain.
9.12.2008 8:42pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain

Or, he could just be someone wearing reading glasses. Looking over them is pretty much what you have to do to talk to someone.
9.12.2008 8:42pm