MAD LIBS – Palin Derangement Syndrome Overwhelms Media

THE WEEKLY STANDARD

by William Kristol
09/22/2008, Volume 014, Issue 02

The liberal media are angry. Very, very angry. How do we know? Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post‘s chronicler of all things media, says so:

 

The media are getting mad. Whether it’s the latest back-and-forth over attack ads, the silly lipstick flap or the continuing debate over Sarah and sexism, you can just feel the tension level rising several notches. Maybe it’s a sense that this is crunch time, that the election is on the line, that the press is being manipulated (not that there’s anything new about that).

 

Of course, politicians are always trying to manipulate the media. And the liberal media are always allowing themselves to be manipulated by liberal politicians. So why the foot-stamping snit by liberal journalists? Not because “the press is being manipulated.” Rather, because the American people are resisting manipulation by the media.

For, as Kurtz goes on to say, the media “are increasingly challenging false or questionable claims by the McCain campaign.” In other words, the media are going after McCain. In his piece Kurtz cites two allegedly false claims from McCain ads that are in fact basically true–or, at least, no more one-sided than dozens of other campaign ads. Back when Barack Obama was coasting toward victory, normal campaign exaggerations (“You know, John McCain wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years”) didn’t fill the media with loathing for Obama. Now the McCain camp’s exaggerations do.

Why? Because McCain is doing well. And because Sarah Palin is surviving–even flourishing in the midst the liberal media onslaught.

When the media get mad, they don’t just pout. They pounce. How? By any means necessary. The day of Kurtz’s article, September 11, ABC’s Charlie Gibson conducted his first interview of Sarah Palin. Gibson asked: “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 responded, “You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.”

“Exact words,” Gibson triumphantly retorted.

Not so fast. As Palin explained, quite eloquently, what she was saying was in the spirit of Lincoln: “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.” The tape of Palin’s church appearance bore out her interpretation and revealed Gibson’s mischaracterization. “Pray for our military men and women,” she had said, “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.” Gibson had made it sound as if Palin were claiming to know God’s will, rather than praying that U.S. actions might be in accord with God’s will and in a cause worthy of God’s blessing.

No doubt the mere fact of Palin’s asking for any kind of blessing on our troops and our national leaders at some backwoods Alaska church was sufficiently distracting to the scripters of Gibson’s questions that they didn’t look closely at the wording. God knows (so to speak) what they believe at a place like that! Why, their kids probably even enlist in the Army to fight our enemies. Speaking of enemies: Within hours of the ABC interview, the Washington Post distorted straightforward remarks made by Palin that same day to U.S. soldiers deploying to Iraq. She praised them for going over to help “defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.” Palin clearly meant that our soldiers would be fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq–a group connected to the al Qaeda central command responsible for 9/11. The Post claimed to believe that Palin was asserting a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11–as if she thought soldiers now heading to Iraq were going to fight Saddam’s regime–and triumphantly noted that even the Bush administration no longer asserted such a connection (it never did, in fact).

 

Palin’s remarks should have been unexceptional: We’ve been fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq for several years now. But the media are desperate to try to make her look foolish. In the same interview, she praised Ronald Reagan for having won the Cold War. What a gaffe, some media watchdogs barked. The Soviet Union didn’t collapse until three years after Reagan left office! Gotcha!

Not a chance. Sarah Palin is quickly proving to be more than a match for the mad, mad media. Having foolishly started a war with her that they can’t win, the liberal media would be well advised, for once, to implement their own favorite war-fighting strategy: cut and run.

–William Kristol

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/558zdiqa.asp?pg=2

 

The Bonfire of the Hypocrisies: Palin & Obama – Hypocrisy in American Politics

THE WEEKLY STANDARD

The nomination that launched a thousand attacks.
by Tod Lindberg
09/22/2008, Volume 014, Issue 02

Historians looking back on these tumultuous times will no doubt argue over the precise date on which the Age of Palin began. Her speech at the Republican National Convention on September 3 certainly catapulted her to national renown. But there is a good case to be made for her introductory appearance in Dayton, Ohio, five days before.

It’s all there: You have the same poise and panache Palin exhibited at the convention. You have the self-assurance of a champion high-school athlete who went on to bigger and better things (unlike in the gloomy Democratic, Bruce Springsteen version of life, in which it’s all downhill after your Glory Days). There’s the ability to deliver a barb with a smile. And above all, that day inaugurated arguably the most incoherent and blubbering partisan response to a candidate in the history of American politics–against which the charms of the candidate stood out even more clearly.

Let’s get this straight: Your party has just nominated for president a fellow who has been elected exactly once to the United States Senate, in an uncompetitive race, following a garden-variety stint in a state legislature. And your response to the GOP nominee’s choice for vice president–someone who has been elected once as governor following a stint as a small town mayor–is to decry the lack of experience? Nobody ever said Barack Obama was unqualified for the No. 2 spot on the ticket.

Had Hillary Clinton won the nomination and selected Obama as her running mate–which, being a savvy politician,she would certainly have done, in order to fire up his 18 million primary supporters–Obama would have been perfectly positioned. Either he would be preparing himself as vice president for his run for the Oval Office eight years hence. Or he would be experienced and tested in a national campaign that he would never be held responsible for losing, with a fundraising base beyond the imagination of Croesus. Instead, it’s McCain-Palin with the wind at their backs, and Palin who is being prepared as the outstanding future prospect for her party.

Now, you might think it hypocritical to criticize the inexperience of a vice presidential nominee who has similar experience to your presidential nominee, but that’s just a failure of the imagination. Indeed, hypocrisy was the strange charge Democrats decided to make against McCain and Palin: Having run against Obama all summer for his lack of experience and accomplishment, how dare John McCain pick as his running mate someone with (ahem) experience comparable to that of the Democratic candidate for president McCain had been criticizing?

Well, maybe because it is not a sign of the strength of a candidate at the top of a ticket to need the experience of Joe Biden (or Dick Cheney) in order to allay concerns that he’s not quite up to some aspects of the job. And, contrariwise, it is a sign of strength at the top when the nominee can look to the future and make a priority of party-building. Does anybody think that if Obama loses, he will have left his party in a stronger position by advancing the prospects of Joe Biden? Fortunately for Democrats, at least they’ve got Hillary in the wings.

But these weren’t the only hypocrisies in the air. Remember reading the discussions of Vice President Al Gore’s parenting skills in all the papers the day after his teenage son got busted for dope at high school? No? That would be because Gore called around to all the papers (including the Washington Times, where I was editorial page editor at the time) and asked us not to publish it, kids being kids and being owed some privacy. The newspapers didn’t. That was then: Given a preposterous Internet rumor that Sarah Palin was never pregnant with her four-month-old baby but faked it to cover up for her daughter, Bristol was fair game. This was a judgment shared among Democrats and, coincidentally, the media (the same ones who were also all over the John Edwards love-child story, remember?).

And so Democrats started pointing at the stunning “hypocrisy” of McCain putting Palin on the ticket in spite of her pregnant daughter. Shouldn’t all the GOP talk about family values and abstinence education have disqualified Palin? Because, after all, Bristol is getting married and keeping the baby, and if that isn’t a sure disqualification for someone’s mother for the vice presidency, what is?

Plus, Sarah Palin, we’ve been informed endlessly, is a hypocrite with a capital H. In all the obvious ways, such as being opposed to women’s rights while still having a career. Democrats have been at the forefront of cheering women on to break supposed glass ceilings, but only the right kind of women, which you can be pretty sure a Republican woman isn’t.

Then there’s all the pro-life business: It just took one columnist in Salon to expose the hypocrisy there: Palin had her baby tested for Down syndrome, and then–had the baby! If she were really pro-life, there wouldn’t have been any reason to have the test. As Rahul K. Parikh, M.D., explained, “We could ask, given that Palin had no doubts about seeing her pregnancy through, why she bothered to take a genetic test. Why not, as you might expect a woman in her position and with her outspoken beliefs to do, decline any testing or counseling? Of course, it seems very reasonable to want to know about the health of your baby and to have time to prepare (emotionally and otherwise) for a baby that may have a genetic disorder. But that doesn’t negate the fact that by having a blood test, Palin was given a choice about what to do. .  .  . Her supporters say that Trig signals that she practices what she preaches. Her decision to make her own choice but not grant it to others is a sign of her hypocrisy.”

So let’s see if the pro-lifers can get this straight for a change: If you are going to have the baby anyway, you are not entitled to information about its health (even though the desire for such information is “very reasonable”), because some people who are not pro-life use such information as a basis for deciding whether to terminate their pregnancies. Got it?

But the most stunning hypocrisy of all, from the point of view of most Democrats and, coincidentally, the media again, was that McCain had promised a vice presidential nominee qualified for the job and then undertook such a haphazard, last-minute, incompetent vetting process that he found out all the things that Democrats and the media are so exercised about. And he went ahead with Sarah Palin anyway!

And just look at the bitter fruit McCain has reaped for all his “hypocrisies”: Palin has helped propel him ahead of Obama in national polls for the first time. Fifty-two percent of respondents in a Pew survey think she is ready to be president now. If people could vote only for vice president, they favor her over Biden 53-44 in a CNN poll. And the unknown governor of two weeks before is now the most popular Republican politician in the country

Tod Lindberg, a WEEKLY STANDARD contributing editor and Hoover Institution fellow, is editor of Policy Review.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/556rvcjg.asp?pg=2

Give ’em Hell, Sarah: Sarah Palin, Harry Truman & Elitism in American Politics

THE WEEKLY STANDARD -09/22/08 – By: Steven F. Hayward

Give ’em Hell, Sarah – Like Truman, a natural-born executive 

Lurking just below the surface of the second-guessing about Sarah Palin’s fitness to be president is the serious question of whether we still believe in the American people’s capacity for self-government, what we mean when we affirm that all American citizens are equal, and whether we tacitly believe there are distinct classes of citizens and that American government at the highest levels is an elite occupation.

It is incomplete to view the controversy over Palin’s suitability for high office just in ideological or cultural terms, as most of the commentary has done. Doubts about Palin have come not just from the left but from across the political spectrum, some of them from conservatives like David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, and George Will. Nor is this a new question. To the contrary, Palin’s ascent revives issues and arguments about self-government that raged at the time of the American founding and before. Indeed, the basic problems of the few and the many, and the sources of wisdom and virtue in politics, stretch back to antiquity.

American political thought since its earliest days has been ambiguous or conflicted about the existence and character of a “natural aristocracy” of governing talent. If the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams are watching the storm over Palin, they must surely be revisiting their famous dialogue about America’s governing class. Adams’s widely misunderstood argument that there should perhaps be an explicit recognition and provision for an aristocratic class finds its reprise in the snobbery that greeted Palin’s arrival on the scene.It’s not just that she didn’t go to Harvard; she’s never been on Meet the Press; she hasn’t participated in Aspen Institute seminars or attended the World Economic Forum. She hasn’t been brought into the slipstream of the establishment by which we unofficially certify our highest leaders.

The issue is not whether the establishment would let such a person as Palin cross the bar into the certified political class, but whether regular citizens of this republic have the skill and ability to control the levers of government without having first joined the certified political class. But this begs an even more troublesome question: If we implicitly think uncertified citizens are unfit for the highest offices, why do we trust those same citizens to select our highest officers through free elections?

In his reply to Adams, Jefferson expressed more confidence that political virtue and capacity for government were not the special province of a recognized aristocratic class, but that aristoi (natural aristocrats) could be found among citizens of all kinds: “It would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society.” Jefferson, moreover, trusted ordinary citizens to recognize political virtue in their fellow citizens: “Leave to the citizens the free election and separation of the aristoi from the pseudo-aristoi, of the wheat from the chaff. In general they will elect the really good and wise.”

Today’s establishment doubts this. The establishment is affronted by the idea that an ordinary hockey mom–a mere citizen–might be just as capable of running the country as a long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations. This closed-shop attitude is exactly what both Jefferson and Adams set themselves against; they wanted a republic where talent and public spirit would find easy access to the establishment.

Part of what bothers the establishment about Palin is her seeming insouciance toward public office. Her success with voters, and in national office, would be n affront and a reproach to establishment self-importance. Anyone who affects making it look easy surely lacks gravitas and must not grasp the complexity or depth of modern political problems. Partly this is the self-justification for establishment institutions and attitudes, but partly it represents the substantive view that the size and complexity of modern government require a level of expertise beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. Some of the doubts about Palin are doubts about self-government itself.

 

So far no one has picked up on the significance of Palin’s invocation of Harry Truman in her convention speech. Her reference was more than just a bridge to a heartland-versus-Beltway theme. Truman, recall, was the only president of the 20th century who was not a college graduate. Less than two months after abruptly taking over from FDR with no preparation, Truman wrote his wife Bess describing his quick progress in taking the reins: “It won’t be long before I can sit back and study the whole picture and tell ’em what is to be done in each department. When things come to that stage there’ll be no more to this job than there was to running Jackson County and not any more worry”.

In retrospect it is clear that Truman “got it.” He didn’t need any more “experience” to master the job. “Well I’m facing another tall day as usual,”he ended that letter to Bess; “But I like ’em that way.”

Ronald Reagan evinced the same attitude toward office as Truman and Palin. In fact, on closer inspection, one can hear in the criticism of Palin the echo of the same kind of complaint made against Ronald Reagan throughout his political career. Never mind that he’d been governor of California. That this graduate of Eureka College–where?–had made his career in Hollywood, a place as exotic and peculiar as Alaska, was decisive with the establishment. “Reagan’s election,” John P. Roche, a former head of Americans for Democratic Action, wrote in 1984, “was thus an 8-plus earthquake on the political Richter scale, and it sent a number of eminent statesmen–Republican and Democratic–into shock.” It wasn’t only liberals who found Reagan incomprehensible. “No previous president of the United States,” Rowland Evans and Robert Novak wrote shortly after Reagan’s election in 1980, “had so bizarre a preparation for political office.”

John Sears, whom Reagan had unceremoniously fired from his campaign in 1980, later put his finger on a key aspect of Reagan’s strength, “Since the primary prerequisite for handling the presidency is to ignore the immensity of it, a president must find the confidence to do so in self-knowledge.   .  .  .   Reagan knows himself better than most presidents and has kept his identity separate from politics. Reagan knows who he is and therefore he possesses the first prerequisite for being a good president.”

In his third summit meeting with Gorbachev, Reagan wondered aloud what would happen if the two of them closed the doors to their office and just quietly slipped away: “How long would it be before people missed us?” Can one imagine Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton (or John McCain for that matter) wondering such a thing?

For Truman and Reagan the key ingredient to successful statecraft was simplicity. “I say there are simple answers to many of our problems–simple but hard,” Reagan liked to say; “It’s the complicated answer that’s easy, because it avoids facing the hard moral issues.” Churchill wrote that he immediately liked Truman when they met for the first time in Berlin in 1945 because he could see that Truman possessed the “obvious power of decision.” We can see already from Palin’s record–unseating a governor of her own party, delivering a long-blocked pipeline deal–that she shares this trait; another six years in the governor’s office isn’t likely to tell us anything we can’t already discern if we don’t let status bias get in the way.

Reagan and Truman forced their way into grudging acceptance and eventual recognition by the establishment through genuine and hard-earned political success, and Palin too will have to prove herself. She shows signs of sharing their humility, power of decision, and simplicity toward self-government.

In her first innings, Palin has offered a unique display of the capacity that John Adams described as the essence of a “natural aristocrat” in America: “By an aristocrat I mean every man who can command two votes–one besides his own.” Here Adams was reminding us of the centrality of substantive persuasion in political life, something Republicans haven’t been very good at of late. The talking heads of the establishment deprecated Palin’s debut. “Sure, she gives a good speech, but  .  .  .” They should be saying to Palin, “Welcome to the aristocracy, governor.”

Steven F. Hayward is F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counter-Revolution, 1980-1989, to be published in early 2009.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/552kbtvz.asp?pg=2

Policy Experts Speak Out – Palin Was Right On Bush Doctrine, Washington Post Reports

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 13, 2008; Page A01  

 

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin seemed puzzled Thursday when ABC News anchor Charles Gibson asked her whether she agrees with the “Bush doctrine.”

“In what respect, Charlie?” she replied.

Intentionally or not, the Republican vice presidential nominee was on to something. After a brief exchange, Gibson explained that he was referring to the idea — enshrined in a September 2002 White House strategy document — that the United States may act militarily to counter a perceived threat emerging in another country. But that is just one version of a purported Bush doctrine advanced over the past eight years.

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.

“If you were given a quiz, you might guess that one, because it’s one that many people associate with the Bush doctrine,” said Feaver, now a Duke University professor. “But in fact it’s not the only one.”

This debate may ordinarily be little more than cocktail chatter for the foreign policy establishment, but political blogs were buzzing yesterday over Palin’s entire interview with Gibson, including the confusion about the doctrine. Liberals said it was yet another case of Palin’s thin grasp on foreign policy, while conservatives replied that she handled herself well by putting the question back on Gibson.

After she asked Gibson to clarify what he meant, the anchor pressed Palin on whether the United States has “a right to make a preemptive strike against another country if we feel that country might strike us.”

“Charlie,” Palin replied, “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.”

The campaign of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama directed reporters to online commentary about the exchange. “What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues,” journalist James Fallows wrote on TheAtlantic.com. “Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the ‘Bush Doctrine’ exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.”

Conservatives ridiculed such reasoning. “What a bunch of nonsense,” Andrew C. McCarthy wrote on National Review Online. “Peanut gallery denizens like me, who don’t have states to run and who follow this stuff very closely, disagree intensely among ourselves about what the Bush Doctrine is.”

Outside foreign policy experts offered different reads on the question. Richard C. Holbrooke, who served key posts in both the Clinton and Carter administrations, said he saw the 2002 National Security Strategy of the White House as the critical statement of a Bush doctrine. (The White House staff member who helped draft the 2002 document, Stephen E. Biegun, now serves as Palin’s foreign policy adviser.)

The strategy document itself articulates the principle as follows: “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. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.”

According to Holbrooke, “the core point is that the Bush people were extremely proud of it and they presented it as a historical breakthrough.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091203324_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2008091203408&s_pos=

Pentagon General Confirms Palin Visited IRAQ / Boston Globe – Obama Attack discredited

In response to false accusations in a Boston Globe Article, Governor Palin’s Campaign has issued a sharp rebuke to those who claimed that the Governor did not travel into Iraq during her trip to the Middle East last summer. Governor Plain made the trip to visit Alaskan National Guard troops.

The Globe reported today that Palin’s trip into Iraq was just a border crossing between Kuwait and Iraq. The question is this, if the Globe new she crossed into Iraq, why would they run a story with a headline implying Palin had, in fact, not been to Iraq? The Globe asked the Palin Campaign to confirm the border crossing. The Campaign confirmed the border crossing.

The Globe noted that in Palin’s ABC interview Thursday night with Charlie Gibson, Palin did not mention Iraq when talking about the trip. Palin mentioned visiting the troops in Kuwait and then visiting injured soldiers in Germany.

The Globe could not know if Palin had in fact mentioned a visit to Iraq. ABC edited Palin’s comments during the interview and there would be no way to know if Palin mentioned Iraq only to have those comments end up on the editing room floor. ABC admits to editing out Palin’s objection to being misquoted during the questioning and that several vidoes used in the televised portion of the ABC interview were, in fact, edited.

The Palin campaign has responded in detail, stating that Govern Palin did cross into Iraq, her stay was brief, she attended a re-enlistment ceremony for a member of the Alaskan National Guard.

The Palin Campaign confirmed, “Last summer, Governor Palin traveled to Kuwait where she visited Alaskan National Guard troops deployed to the war in Iraq at Camp Arifjen. While she was there she traveled to the K Crossing on the Kuwait-Iraq border, and a quarter mile into Iraq.”

The Pentagon General who traveled with Governor Palin and presided over the re-enlistment ceremony of the Alaskan National Guard soldier, confirmed that Palin did, in fact, travel into Iraq. 

During the return trip to the United States Governor Palin had a stop-over at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Governor Palin used the stop-over as an opportunity to visit wounded soldiers at the Landstuhl military hospital.

Is there no limit to the falsehoods and smear attacks that the media will direct at Governor Palin?

It is 11:45 PM – On 09/13/04 and the Washington Times has joined the attack to spread this false rumor. The Washinton Times Article notes that Palin was accompanied by a General –  

OBAMA CAMP SUGGESTS LIES OVER PALIN VISIT TO IRAQ                                           Glen Johnson – Associated Press

Originally Published 11:42 p.m., September 13, 2008 –                                         Updated 11:41 p.m., September 13, 2008

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/13/obama-camp-suggests-lies-over-palin-visit-to-iraq/

The Bridge to Nowhere – Gibson’s shameful Lies – the documents & facts to prove the Truth

ABC’s Charles Gibson’s shameful lies & The bias of the Liberal Left Media – The truth about the Bridge to Nowhere and how it was funded.  

ABC’s Charles Gibson falsely accused Governor Palin of “Being for the Bridge to Nowhere before you were against the Bridge to Nowhere”. With Gibson’s large staff of researchers one would have to assume Gibson knew his accusation to be false.                                http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594 

Thanks to ABC’s editing, Palin’s actual, verbatim, responses to this false accusation may never be heard. 

The following is a brief analysis of the facts, based on Congressional voting records and State Budget Documents.

The spending Proposal to fund the Bridge was submitted in 2005 to the US House, by US Rep Don Young, (R) from Alaska. The “Bridge” received funding that year, 2005,  while Palin was serving as Mayor of Wasilla. This “fact” can been confirmed by Congressional documents and in fact, has been confirmed by the independent consumer group, “Citizen’s Against Government Waste.”    http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594    

The original “bill” funding the $223 Million “Bridge” (in fact 2 bridges were funded) was passed by the US House of Representatives, the US Senate and was signed by President Bush and became law in 2005. When the bill reached the US Senate, Senators Obama and Biden voted to fund the Bridge while Senator McCain did not. In 2005 Mayor Palin was not involved with any part of this process. In 2005 the Governor of Alaska was Frank Murkowski, the incumbent Republican Governor Mayor Palin later defeated.  http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594 

In October, 2005, Senator Tom Colburn, (R) Oklahoma, offered an amendment to transfer $75 million from the ‘Bridge to Nowhere” to funding to rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. His amendment was defeated by a vote of 15-82.  Senators Biden and Obama voted with the Majority and against the amendment which would have decreased funding for the Bridge to Nowhere; Sen. McCain was not present for the vote.   http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594 

With the completion of this vote in October 2005, formal Congressional opposition to the “Bridge to Nowhere” came to an end.

In November, 2005, Congress included language in the final version of the fiscal 2006 Transportation Appropriations Act that allowed the state of Alaska to either spend money on the two bridges or on other surface transportation projects. Frank Murkowski was still the Governor of Alaska. http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594

Congress was attempting to create “cover” for the Congresspeople and Senators who voted to fund the “Bridge to Nowhere” by changing this language. Politicians, when questioned, could claim they didn’t vote to fund the “Bridge”, that question was left for the State of Alaska to answer. Congress tossed this fully approved, fully funded, “hot potato” to the Alaska Governor.

In October, 2006, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski included $91 million for the Bridge to Nowhere (actually known as the Gravina Island Bridge) in his State budget submission for fiscal year 2007. This money, $91 million, would be financed directly by Alaskan Taxpayers and would be added to the $223 Million of Federal funds to build the Bridge. http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594

As a candidate for governor, Sarah Palin expressed a mixture of support and doubt about the bridge. Specifically, Candidate Palin questioned how the project would be funded. Candidate Palin supported the concept of a Bridge to Gravina Island and the improved transportation it would bring the residents of the Island, however, Candidate Palin also questioned whether the planned bridge was the “right answer” or “the right bridge”.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Candidate Palin questioned whether the Bridge was fiscally responsible. 

Palin was elected Governor and took office in January 2007. Governor Palin submitted her first budget on January 17, 2007, two weeks into her Administration. The Governor’s budget contained no money for the Bridge. 

On July 17, 2007, the Associated Press reported that “The state of Alaska on Friday officially abandoned the ‘bridge to nowhere’ project that became a nationwide symbol of federal pork-barrel spending.”  Governor Palin said in a statement that Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer.”                                                     http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594

According to the Committee for Citizen’s Against Government Waste, “Media reports that Congress killed the Bridge to Nowhere are not accurate,”. “The 2006 transportation appropriations bill allowed Alaska to decide whether or not to move forward.” The decision on whether to spend the money on the Bridge to Nowhere was left up to the Governor of Alaska. The money, which had already been appropriated, could have been spent on the “pork barrel bridge project” or on “freeways and infrastructure” items that are not considered “pork barrel”. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, “Governor Murkowski said yes; Governor Palin said no.”

 ABC’s Charles Gibson and the spiteful Media claim that Governor Palin, “took no action on the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ until after Congress “killed the project’“, that claim is an outright lie. ABC’s Gibson and the Liberal Press are showing their bias when they make that false claim or falsely state that Governor Palin was,   “for the Bridge before you were against it“. Gibson knows his accusation is a falsehood – the voting records are a matter of public record. Congress never killed “the Bridge to Nowhere“, it was given full and final approval by Congress and provided with funding.                             http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594

Congress presented Alaska with two choices “Build the Bridge” or “Kill the Bridge and use the money  elsewhere”. The criticism of “The Bridge to Nowhere” by Congress had ended long before Governor Palin made her choice. The “Bridge” was fully funded at the time she made her choice.                                                    

Governor Palin said NO to the “Bridge to Nowhere”. Governor Palin said “NO” two weeks into her Administration.  

In a closing shot at Governor Palin, Gibson noted that Congress sent approximately $200 million in earmark funds to Alaska this year. Those funds were requested by Alaska’s Congressional delegation, not Governor Palin. Gibson failed to mention that the 2008 total, $200 million, was $445 Million less than the amount sent by the last Congress. ($645 Million). The amount of earmarked money being sent to Alaska has been reduced by nearly 70% in two years. A 70% reduction in just two years. In addition to that amount, Governor Palin has cut  $500 million in wasteful spending from the Alaska State budget in just this past year.  http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594  

Governor Palin has earned the right to call herself a Reformer and a Maverick. 

This is what ABC News had to say about the “Bridge” in September 2007.  The End of the Bridge to Nowhere

September 21, 2007 1:43 PM

Lindsey Ellerson

ABC News’ John Cochran reports: The Bridge to Nowhere is gone.  Not the victim of aging frames, bolts and joints.  No, this bridge has collapsed, even before it was built, after an onslaught of angry editorials, furious anti-pork citizens groups, and caustic jokes on late night TV.

First, that name. It was not accurate. If built, the bridge would have gone somewhere. It would have replaced the ferry that takes residents of Ketchikan, Alaska (population 8,000) to the local airport on Gravina Island. In 2005, Congress approved $223 million for construction.

In Washington, groups such as Taxpayers for Common Sense and Citizens Against Government Waste, rallied their troops to try to block the money. They said the island was home to far more deer than people (50). 

The bridge’s main sponsor in the Senate, Alaska Republican Ted Stevens, was outraged by any attempt to prevent his state from getting federal funds. In 2004, with the help of Stevens, his state got special projects worth $645 million. That was $984 for every Alaskan. By contrast, Congress handed out less than $3 to every Texan. And a Texan was, and still is, the President. 

But the barrage of publicity was too much for his fellow Republicans. Senator John McCain, R.-Ariz., cited the Bridge to Nowhere as a perfect example of wasteful spending.  Senator Tom Coburn R-Okla., a longtime foe of pork spending, tried to shift the money to rebuild an interstate highway damaged by Hurricane Katrina. 

Senator Stevens grew even more outraged: “I don’t kid people.  If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state…I will resign.”  He did not resign.

An uneasy compromise was reached.  Congress took away the money for the Gravina Island bridge and another Alaskan bridge which was almost as controversial.  Instead, Congress gave the money to the state with the understanding that it was not required to use the funds specifically for bridges.

Friday, the state of Alaska officially sank the Bridge to Nowhere. Governor Sarah Palin, also a Republican, said “Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport.”  “But,” she said, the bridge “is not the answer.”  Palin has told state transportation officials to look for the most “fiscally responsible” alternative.

A spokesman for Senator Stevens was not immediately available for comment.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/09/the-end-of-the-.html

 

 

The “Bush Doctrine” – Gibson’s “Gotcha Question” – Why Palin got it right / Why Gibson was wrong

HOW PALIN GOT IT RIGHT – WHY GIBSON WAS WRONG – HOW BIAS EFFECTS GIBSON’S JOURNALISM  

ABC News’ Charles Gibson is being credited with stumping Sarah Palin on the definition of the “Bush Doctrine”.

The now infamous exchange went like this;

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?” A snappy response for a professional Journalist.

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” 

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.”

Is that so Mr. Gibson? In 2001, Gibson defined the so called “Doctrine” as, a promise that all terrorists organizations with global reach will be found, stopped and defeated.http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/12/palins-definition-of-bush-doctrine-hits-the-gibson-mark/ . 

Excuse my nit-picking, but please note that Mr. Gibson first used the term “Bush Doctrine” 1 year prior to when he claimed it was “enunciated” in September 2002.If I were Palin, I would have wondered, “What the hell is he talking about”. Remember that Gibson and crew had edited out Palin’s objection to being misquoted earlier in the interview.

Gibson’s clarification was not, in fact, an attempt to help Palin. It was an attempt to disguise his real purpose – another politically motivated “gotcha” question, much like his earlier misquote of Palin which was edited for the ABC program.  

I guess Mr Gibson might have applauded Govern Palin’s answer, had she only said, “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, and Charlie, the Bush Doctrine gives him the ability to use pre-emptive strikes”.

WHAT THE HECK IS THE BUSH DOCTRINE – the short explanation.

The “Bush Doctrine” is not a Government Document. It is not a law passed by Congress. The “Bush Doctrine” is a creation of the Press. It is the name loosely associated with a series of comments made by President Bush. There have been other “Doctrines” associated with other Presidents. The “so called” Bush Doctrine borrows heavily from prior Doctrines. It is claimed, by Journalists, to borrow from the Monroe Doctrine (President Monroe), the Truman Doctrine (President Truman) and even from President Reagan and the what the Press described as the Reagan Doctrine. If one looks hard enough, there are even traces of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Clinton and Carter Doctrines within what the Press now describes as the Bush Doctrine. http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue2/jv6n2a5.html . 

Apparently, when a President is elected a  Doctrine with their name is not far behind.

The term “Bush Doctrine” was first coined by columnist Charles Krauthammer three months before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and 5 months after Bush took office.  Krauthammer noted that the definition used by Gibson, “is not the one in common usage today.http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/12/palins-definition-of-bush-doctrine-hits-the-gibson-mark/

Richard Starr, managing editor of the Weekly Standard said, “Palin was well within bounds to have asked him to be more specific, the doctrine has no universally acknowledged single meaning.” http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/12/palins-definition-of-bush-doctrine-hits-the-gibson-mark/ 

When the term “Bush Doctrine” is used in common discussions (not to be confused with Liberal Media questions) it is usually referring to a speech that President Bush made on September 27, 2001 to a Joint Session of Congress. During that speech President Bush said,  

“We will direct every resource at our command–every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war–to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network…We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice. We’re not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans.” http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue2/jv6n2a5.html

Compare Bush’s speech to Palin’s answer, “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.”

The similarities between the speech and the answer are striking.

As Gibson has a large research staff and as he, himself, had used a nearly identical definition in 2001, what are we to conclude? The answer to that question is obvious. One need not consider the earlier editing of the interview to “remove” Palin’s objection to being mis-quoted on an earlier question to understand why Gibson and the liberal media have reacted as they have. Media Bias is the answer.

What is the BUSH DOCTRINE – The Longer Answer – Not the complete answer

As stated above the concepts that the Media named the “Bush Doctrine” are a combination of the “old” and the “new”. Certain Commentators note items were brought forward from the Monroe and Truman Doctrines, other Commentators note that the Bush Doctrine borrows and diverges from the Reagan and Clinton Doctrines.                       

http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue2/jv6n2a5.html , http://claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1218/article_detail.asp. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020715/falk  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/iraq/etc/cron.html

The Bush Doctrine contains four seperate elements; Military, Economic, Political and Post War recovery. These elements have undergone many revisions.

The basic components of the Military Element have evolved to include; offensive operations, including preemptive war, against terrorists and their abetters—more specifically, against the regimes that had sponsored, encouraged, or merely tolerated any terrorist group. Afghanistan, the headquarters of al-Qaeda and its patron the Taliban, was the doctrine’s first target. The United States would “not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the worlds most dangerous weapons. Some believe that the Bush Doctrine represents a return to the first principles of American security strategy.  

http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1218/article_detail.asp  http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.15845/pub_detail.asp

The Political Elements have evolved from past Doctrines or are related to a number of speeches and interviews conducted by President Bush. 

Commentators have attributed the following characteristics to the Policital Elements of the Bush Doctrine: The Doctrine is said to put the democratization of once totalitarian, authoritarian, and persistently tribal societies at the center of its objectives. Left to itself, Afghanistan after the Soviets’ withdrawal did not resume its former ways, at least not for long, and certainly did not evolve into a democracy. Instead, it succumbed to the Taliban’s peculiar Islamic totalitarianism. Nevertheless, the Bush Administration’s policy is not merely to expunge the totalitarians there and in Iraq, but to ensure that they never return by reconstructing their societies along democratic lines. Authoritarianism is no longer acceptable. That there is a, “”universality of democracy and human rights” (para-phrasing JFK), that the Doctrine recognized the difference between a “right to be free” with the “capacity to be free”. http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1218/article_detail.asp 

The Bush Doctrine was not an advocacy of a clash of civilizations or a Western crusade against Islam. http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue2/jv6n2a5.html

The Economic & Post War Recovery Elements. These elements are based on the premise that Democracy needs free markets to survive. Certain Commentators attribute an almost Marshall type plan (The Plan used to rebuild Europe, Japan and Germany after WW II) to the Bush Doctrine. This has become a matter of heated debate.  Afghanistan is often discussed in this regard. After Afghanistan defeated the Soviet invasion Liberals in this Country refused to fund moneys to help repair the infrastructure destroyed by the Soviets. In the devastation of post Soviet Afghanistan al-Queda took root.  

Conclusion:

At the risk of belabouring my point – It is ridiculous for ABC’s Gibson and the Liberal Media to act as if there is some sort of single document that defines the Bush Doctrine – that there is one clear answer to Gibson’s question, or that there was any answer that would more accurately describe the so called doctrine. After all the interview was only an hour long.

Gibson’s response to an honest request to elaborate on his question clearly demonstrates, at least to this writer, the game he was playing. Palin was not confused by his question, she simply didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.

Mr Gibson should be ashamed. 

COMPARE THIS INTERVIEW TO GIBSON 2007 INTERVIEW OF OBAMA HERE: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/obamas-2007-interview-abcs-charlie-gibson-you-can-compare/  

 

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