John McCain Is Not Qualified to Be President
John McCain Is Dishonest and Dishonorable (Real Estate Lobbying Edition)

John McCain Is Dishonorable and Dishonest

For picking a vice-presidential candidate when he did not know whether she was qualified for the job, and claiming that he did know. Outsourced to Hilzoy:

Obsidian Wings: Palin And The Bush Doctrine: I watched the first clip of Sarah Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson, and to me, the most striking part was her complete inability to answer the question: "Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?" Here's what she said:

"Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?" "In what respect, Charlie?" "The Bush -- well, what do you interpret it to be?" "His world view?" "No, the Bush Doctrine, enunciated in September 2002, before the Iraq war." "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." "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?"

The transcript doesn't really do it justice; the video is here, and it makes it pretty clear that she has no idea what the Bush Doctrine actually is. It also makes it clear that she is very quick on her feet -- she almost succeeds in getting Gibson to tell her....

This matters not because I think a whole lot turns on whether or not someone can correctly identify the Bush Doctrine, in particular, but because it is not a hard question to anyone who has been following foreign policy for the last few years. I want someone who might end up being President to have a reservoir of background knowledge to draw on in times of crisis. And Sarah Palin just doesn't have one.... The big deal about the Bush Doctrine was that it changed our position radically. We used to affirm... a right of what has normally been thought of as preemptive war... to respond to an imminent attack.... The point of the Bush Doctrine was to change that: to say, as Bush said at West Point: "If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long." It was, basically, the acceptance of preventive war....

For that reason, one of the most striking things about Palin's response, to me, was this: in answering Gibson's question, she seemed to think that she was accepting the Bush Doctrine, but what she actually said just restated the old doctrine of preemption.... The good news, I guess, is that when she's forced to make up an answer out of whole cloth, she goes with preemption, not prevention.... The bad news is that this makes it pretty clear that the problem isn't just that she doesn't know what the name "Bush Doctrine" refers to. She doesn't seem to know that there was a debate about preventive vs. preemptive war, in which the Bush administration came down decisively on the side of prevention. And that's a pretty important thing to be unaware of.