CROWLEY: I think, first of all, that in rural Missouri, where I grew up, they are not going to wake up tomorrow morning over their Rice Krispees and say she doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is. That's how these things play, the totality of these things play, what we choose to pull out played. And I think, honestly, people are going to see this through the prism of how they feel about Sarah Palin.
And this journalist is powerless to point out the ignorance of the Republican candidate for Vice President. But there are at least some critical pundits out there. To Paul Krugman, one might add Bob Herbert:
With most candidates for high public office, the question is whether one agrees with them on the major issues of the day. With Ms. Palin, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. She doesn’t appear to understand some of the most important issues.
“Do you believe in the Bush doctrine?” Mr. Gibson asked during the interview. Ms. Palin looked like an unprepared student who wanted nothing so much as to escape this encounter with the school principal.
Clueless, she asked, “In what respect, Charlie?”
“Well, what do you interpret it to be?” said Mr. Gibson.
“His worldview?” asked Ms. Palin.
Later, in the spin zones of cable TV, commentators repeatedly made the point that there are probably very few voters — some specifically mentioned “hockey moms” — who could explain the Bush doctrine. But that’s exactly the reason we have such long and intense campaigns. You want to find the individuals who best understand these issues, who will address them in sophisticated and creative ways that enhance the well-being of the nation.
The Bush doctrine, which flung open the doors to the catastrophe in Iraq, was such a fundamental aspect of the administration’s foreign policy that it staggers the imagination that we could have someone no further than a whisper away from the White House who doesn’t even know what it is.
You can’t imagine that John McCain or Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Joe Lieberman would not know what the Bush doctrine is. But Sarah Palin? Absolutely clueless.
Herbert is right, of course. It's not just a question of experience–which she seems to lack. It's a question of basic knowledge. The last time we gave someone a pass for not knowing about the world, and not caring about his ignorance, we got into a huge mess.
UPDATE: Well silly me. Just as being is said in many ways, so Bushi Doctrina dicitur multipliciter!!!!. I don't know how Bush has been Latinized (it has of course), but the new defense is that Palin displayed preparation too vast for Gibson's simple-minded question:
Peter D. Feaver, who worked on the Bush national security strategy as a staff member on the National Security Council, said he has counted as many as seven distinct Bush doctrines. They include the president's second-term "freedom agenda"; the notion that states that harbor terrorists should be treated no differently than terrorists themselves; the willingness to use a "coalition of the willing" if the United Nations does not address threats; and the one Gibson was talking about — the doctrine of preemptive war.
Eat that with Rice Krispees Show-Me-Staters!