The interviewer’s name was Charlie

Sarah Palin scored points for knowing her interviewer’s nickname, but didn’t do so well on the actual questions. Most notably, she went all “moose in the headlights” when asked about the Bush Doctrine. Jim Fallows explains why Palin’s ignorance is troubling:

What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the “Bush Doctrine” exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.

Fred Kaplan’s recap in Slate is excellent:

The other spine-chilling moment came when Gibson asked about her recent comment, in a speech at her church, that the war in Iraq is “a task that is from God.” (ABC then showed a YouTube clip of the speech.) Palin tried to finesse the question, saying that her remarks were only “a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words” that we should pray not that God is on our side but that we are on God’s side. Gibson didn’t back down, noting that she had in fact gone on to say, “There is a plan, and it is God’s plan.” To this, Palin replied:

I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that these are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That in my worldview is a grand—the grand plan.

Two things came to mind upon hearing her say these words. First, they sound like the earnest answer given by a contestant in a beauty pageant when the M.C. asks her about world peace. (Sorry to seem sexist, but it’s true; read it again.)

Second, and more to the point, do we want someone a heartbeat away from the presidency—and a 72-year-old cancer survivor’s heartbeat, at that—to possess both impetuousness (“You can’t blink”) and holy certitude? Isn’t that what we’ve had, actually in the Oval Office, the past eight years?

Robots are wired to react a certain way, but people are required to think.

Here’s the bonus beauty queen interview for comparison:

In other news, Lorne Michaels Wants Fey for SNL’s Palin:

Saturday Night Live creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said the show is talking with Tina Fey about playing Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at some point this season, possibly as soon as this Saturday’s season premiere.

This would be superb, of course.

What was McCain thinking?

Hmmm. (Skip the first 8 minutes, it’s just the old man rambling.) She’s young, good-looking, inexperienced, a bit ideological, and a member of a marginal group; just like Barack Obama, actually. But she’s running for VP, not to be the big dog. She’s not at all embarrassing, not a Katherine Harris, Harriet Miers, or Dan Quayle. All in all, a good contrast to Biden who’s tainted with the scent of corruption.

This just might work for McCain.

UPDATE: But seriously, what was McCain thinking? Palin is a nice woman, but there’s no way in hell she should be allowed inside the White House if not on a tour. McCain has effectively conceded the election. Welcome to the Oval Office, President Obama, listen to Sen. Biden carefully and don’t screw too many things up.

Whaddup, bitches?

I won’t be able to say that in New York if this law passes:

The New York City Council, which drew national headlines when it passed a symbolic citywide ban earlier this year on the use of the so-called n-word, has turned its linguistic (and legislative) lance toward a different slur: bitch.

The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women.

Somebody should bitch-slap Councilwoman Mealy before she embarrasses her momma again.

This is a fine example of slippery slopes in action. The Council banned the use of the “n-word”, so why shouldn’t they ban the “b-word” as nearly as offensive? And then “fatty” because it’s nearly as offensive as “bitch”, and then “retard”, and then “dullard”, and then “not exactly a genius”. Why not ban all the words in the English language, on the grounds that each one can hurt somebody’s feelings if used in the right context?

Then New Yorkers, who used to be the freest people in the world until they started banning smoking in bars and fast food and hard words, will just sit in their many corners banging their heads against their many walls and moaning, almost imperceptibly, about the abject emptiness of their lives.

The bitches.

No good deed goes unpunished

Ayann Hirsi Ali is a hero to many who want to see the war on Islamic terrorism end in a victory for the West. But every hero has her critics, and Ali is no exception. For some of the most mind-bending perverse logic you’ve ever seen, check the Newsweek article attacking Ali from the pro-Muslim and pro-feminist (!) point of view:

Other Muslim women interested in reform aren’t exactly in step with Hirsi Ali. “I wish people had been nicer to her,” says Muslim author and feminist Asra Nomani. “But I don’t blame Islam. I blame really messed-up people who’ve used religion to justify their misogyny.” As staunchly patriarchal strains of Wahhabi Islam infiltrate Muslim cultures outside the gulf region, many modern female followers are wondering how to embrace their religion without succumbing to its more sexist demands. And they’re coming up with answers that don’t require them to abandon either their religion or their culture. In the Middle East and South Asia, a strong majority of Muslim women recently polled by Gallup believed they should have the right to work outside the home and serve in the highest levels of government. Here in the United States, dozens of scholars like Ithaca College’s Asma Barlas, Harvard’s Leila Ahmed and Notre Dame’s Asma Afsaruddin have challenged widely accepted interpretations of the Qur’an. “They are Islam’s Martina Luthers,” jokes Nomani. “They are my heroes.”

It’s not clear what “being nicer” would have meant: no clitorectomy, fewer beatings, and a better arranged marriage, or not being disowned? Some people are just so hard to please.

Linklove to Roger L, Simon.

The really important stuff

A couple of days ago, Professor Weinberger was complaining that the diaper-wearing nutcase feminist astronaut story was going to wipe out serious news for two weeks, but that cable news obsession will probably pale in comparison with what I expect to be an avalanche of fake mourning for Anna Nicole Smith, arguably the most worthless example of misspent protoplasm in recent history.

John Cole notes the irony:

I can not be alone in my observation that it is rather humorous that the person who most likely will rescue two feminists from public scrutiny is a stripper/turned Playmate who graduated into a full-fledged celebrity drunk, an addict and alcoholic through and through, as well as a terrible mother.

No dude, you aren’t alone.

Oh, by the way, there’s some sort of trial thing going on in Washington, but the tragic loss of America’s Princess depressed the prosecutor so bad he had to rest his case. Or something.