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Jon Berger

One quick point about the rape kits. I can't remember my source for this, but for what an unattributed rumor is worth, I've read that Alaska has a very high, or perhaps the highest, per capita occurrence of rape among the 50 states, and that a vast proportion of the victims are native Alaskan. If that's true, and it might be, that means that the "pay for your own investigation" policy isn't just sexist, it's also racist. Just one more thing to love about Palin.

I do have to say, though, in all fairness, that before the big flap about it, I never knew what the "Bush Doctrine" was either. I mean, I knew that Bush kind of thought that way, but I'd never heard it referred to by that phrase. The Bush Doctrine could have had something to do with brush clearing or mountain biking, for all I knew. I'm not so sure that Palin's failure to be familiar with this phrase counts as a point against her. Plenty of other things do, though.

Greta Christina
I do have to say, though, in all fairness, that before the big flap about it, I never knew what the "Bush Doctrine" was either.

Neither did I. I mean, I'd heard the phrase, and I knew what Bush's doctrine was as far as Iraq and foreign policy... but I also hadn't really put the two together.

But I wasn't running for Vice President.

I expect the people who run for high office to know a LOT more about things like foreign policy and economics and public policy than I do. I expect them to be a LOT more conversant with national and world events than I am. I probably couldn't tell you the names of all the major world leaders... but I sure expect the President and Vice President to be able to.

It doesn't make someone a bad or stupid person if they can't, just like it doesn't make someone a bad or stupid person if they don't know how to use SQL queries to upload and correct product descriptions to a company website. But it sure would make me a bad and stupid employee if I didn't know how to do that, since it's, you know, my job. Sarah Palin was applying for a job for which knowing things like the Bush Doctrine was essential. She didn't -- and that's relevant. (Plus she kept trying to bullshit her way through the interview, acting as if she knew things that she clearly didn't.)

Jon Berger

I grant you the bullshitting; that wasn't pretty to watch. I'm just trying to draw a distinction between knowing that Bush favored certain things -- unilateral military action against countries which we claim give aid to what we claim are terrorist groups, basically -- and knowing that the phrase "Bush Doctrine" applies to those things. I have no idea when the phrase came into common enough usage in political/military circles that Palin should have recognized it, and without knowing that, I have no way of assessing whether it's a fair criticism or not. The phrase has been around since 2002-ish, according to Wikipedia, but I'm not sure, for example, that I fault Palin for not having read and remembered some article by Norman Podhoretz on the "Our Jerusalem" web site.

Maybe everybody but you and me knew what "Bush Doctrine" meant; maybe all well-informed politicians did; maybe it was only common among journalists. I just don't know. It's entirely possible that not knowing the phrase was indeed symptomatic of her unfitness for office; I'm just saying that I'm not quite willing to taunt her with "You didn't even know what the Bush Doctrine was" without a little more information on whether that's something she ought to have known or not.


Sorry, but I'm an ordinary blue-collar worker and I knew what the dang Bush Doctrine was.

I also came name newspapers I read (not that I read any often, since I think most of them are crap). I can even name some of the more famous reporters and columnists!

I can also list off multiple Supreme Court cases, AND what they were about!

Now if a dummy like me, who didn't even finish college, can do that, why can't someone who is running for Vice President?

You don't give an idiot slack for being an idiot. And Sarah Palin is an idiot.

No, scratch that. She's a fucking moron.


I just found your blog through an atheist group on Facebook. Your "Atheists and Anger" post was linked on a discussion there. I have been reading your blog all morning. I have so much that I should be doing instead, but found this to be a worthy way to procrastinate. I am so glad I found it. I appreciate the careful thought that you clearly put into your writing. Anyway, just wanted to share how much I have enjoyed reading your work!

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