Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today's "WTF" Moment - Palin Warns of War with Russia?!

I wish I were making this up, but she really did, in her little sit-down with Charlie Gibson. Right afterwards, ABC actually scrolled a bright red "BREAKING NEWS" banner about it on their site, before, presumably, someone got a call from the GOP telling them to remove it. ;)

Somewhat amusing that this happens the same day I write a long piece arguing that McCain will not keep the nation safer than Obama would.

Here's the full context of her statements:

GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?

PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.

GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.

PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.

Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but...

GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.

But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to -- especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.

We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.

GIBSON: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.

PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.

This is a pretty major gaffe for three reasons.

First, it immediately shows that she is in lock-step with the neo-con position on these issues, which really blows much of her "change" appeal right out of the water. It's a big wake-up call to a lot of folks who bought the hype about her.

Second, while her statements seem at least somewhat reasonable, she made a rookie mistake by answering the question about us going to war with Russia at all. We may be in NATO, and NATO may mean mutual defence, but it is still blindingly stupid to put into words what is normally only implied by the treaty: war with Russia. A smarter and more experienced politician -- i.e., one actually ready for the White House -- would have given a more diplomatic response.

Third, the imagery here could be the "tone arm yanked screeching off the record" moment for Palin's little honeymoon with the American people. The media and the public will boil down all that context above into just a soundbite: "Sarah Palin warns about war with Russia". This in turn will cause millions of voters to suddenly shift from a warm fuzzy image of Sarah Palin smiling and relaxed with her baby on her shoulder, to a very tense Sarah Palin with one hand on the "red phone" and the other on the button. And that should scare the crap out of anyone with an IQ above room temperature.


meconella said...

I thought the McCain campaign's 'Bosnia' moment was yesterday with the entire 'lipstick' bruhaha.

But this trumps it. No wonder they have kept Palin under wraps.

Palin, the gift that keeps giving.

soozzie said...

You can almost hear her mentally checking off the bullet points her handlers have had her memorize -- NATO, Orange revolution, Rose revolution, Ukraine, democratic countries. Just like I used to do in college -- memorize the key words and jumble them together with sentences that give an impression I know what I'm talking about. Yikes!
(Not to mention that this is hardly change -- isn't this the Bushco line?)

Jon said...

Watching the Flamewars on the 538 forum is like watching a semi-truck collide with a train; it's a grotesque spectacle, but I can't help myself.

I noticed you got into quite a few flame-wars with some conservatrolls. You know what they say about Wrestling With a Pig

"Everybody gets covered in shit, nothing gets resolved, and only the pig enjoys it" (unless you're a hillbilly)

This is why I choose not to get too impassioned about this crap. That doesn't mean I don't pay attention; it just means that after 8 years of this crap, I've just come to expect it. This is the new status quo.

Charles M. Kozierok said...

It really is amazing, isn't it, that we continue with this frightening charade of Sarah Palin potentially being commander in chief. Truly amazing.

I wish I knew what happened to John McCain. God, he has fallen so far.

Jon -- sometimes I don't mind getting into the shit. Hey, I support Obama but I can't live up to his standards. :) And yeah, it's probably pointless, but then, look at the name of the blog. :)

Thanks for the comments.