One was John Podhoretz:
For the record, when a distressed friend called to say he was made nervous by her failure to identify the Bush Doctrine off the bat, I had to stop for a moment and think about it because I wasn’t instantly sure whether the Bush Doctrine was the policy of preemption or the democratization of Arab lands. And I wrote an entire book about the Bush presidency. She answered it, after a pause, by assuming it was the “you’re either with us or with the terrorists” line Bush promulgated right after 9/11.Now comes this, from the person, as the author states, who first coined the expression, Charles Krauthammer:
It turns out Charlie Gibson meant the preemption doctrine — but then, he didn’t know what he was talking about either, since he told her in the weirdly patronizing voice in which he interviewed her that it was enunciated in September 2002.
The doctrine of preemption was, in fact, enunciated in June 2002 at West Point; September 2002 was when Bush declared Saddam Hussein in violation of 16 U.N. resolutions and declared that it was the responsibility of the U.N. to unseat him.In fact, ABC News' own site has several different versions of the Bush Doctrine.
The Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.Part of the significance of Krauthammer's remark comes from the fact that he has not been a terribly enthusiastic supporter of McCain's choice of Palin.
There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration — and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today.
He asked Palin, “Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?”
She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, “In what respect, Charlie?”
Sensing his “gotcha” moment, Gibson refused to tell her. After making her fish for the answer, he grudgingly explained to the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine “is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense.”
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 titled, “The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism,” I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.
...If I were in any public foreign-policy debate today, and my adversary were to raise the Bush doctrine, both I and the audience would assume — unless my interlocutor annotated the reference otherwise — that he was speaking about Bush’s grandly proclaimed (and widely attacked) freedom agenda.
Not the Gibson doctrine of pre-emption.
...Yes, Palin didn’t know what it is. But neither does Gibson. And at least she didn’t pretend to know — while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, “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 phenom who presumes to play on their stage.