Smarter Than Your Average Interviewer

Sarah Palin is getting support, not just from conservative pundits, but from the Washington Post on whether there is a single “Bush Doctrine”:

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.”

Well, well. And of course, ABC News itself has recognized the multiple incarnations of the phrase. So we are left to wonder whether this was just sloppy research/ignorance on Gibson’s part or a deliberate gotcha gone awry. I’ll take Napoleon’s advice (“Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence.”)