I listened to excerpts from Sarah Palin's interview with ABC while driving around on Thursday, and interrupted bridge to watch her on Friday. I didn't see much that would make me feel better about having her as president. Did you?
Some bloggers have called the Bush Doctrine question unfair, and I agree with that. But did you notice what she said once the question was clarified? She said we have a right to defend our country if an attack is imminent. Now, I don't know anyone other than a truly dedicated pacifist who would disagree with that, but that's not the issue. Bush took the idea of preemptive war far beyond any historical precedent into the realm of "preventive" war, in which we reserve the right to attack countries who might someday pose at least a hypothetical threat. This is dangerous territory, an argument that could be used to justify almost any war a country might wish to start. We deserve to know what people that close to the presidency think about the idea.
I also was struck by her answer on abortion, which sounded amazingly close to what Barack Obama said in his acceptance speech. She did say that decisions about abortion should be returned to the states -- which is not a total repudiation of the pro-choice argument -- and she said that her opposition to abortion in case of rape and incest is a "personal opinion." It wasn't clear whether she meant that it was a personal opinion that should not be imposed on John McCain or a personal opinion that should not be imposed on other Americans.
Mostly, the interviews did not address my major concerns about her. I still have concerns about her management style, and I still have concerns about her honesty. Her reply to the Bridge to Nowhere question was perfectly unresponsive.
I don't know about you, but if I'm looking to hire somebody, and the very first item on the resume turns out to be wildly exaggerated, I don't really have any further questions. I'm done. In comments to an earlier post, someone defended her by linking to a Washington Post story that called her Bridge to Nowhere story a "half-truth." That seems a pretty generous estimate, even judging from the Post's own reporting, but never mind. I just wish my mother was still around to here the "half-truth" argument dredged up. When I was growing up, we had a word for "half-truth." The word was "lie."
UPDATE: I also keep reading articles praising Palin for refusing to abort her Down syndrome child. Once again, I don't get this. If I understand her world view correctly, she regards abortion as a sin equal to murder, or close to it.
Heck, sometimes I go for months without murdering people, even though I am far more provoked to do so than Palin's baby has ever provoked her. Nobody ever gives me credit as a paragon of virtue for refusing to kill people who trouble me. Why does she get so much credit?