It’s a little hard to believe that there’s actually more bizarre stuff in Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric, but Jeffrey Goldberg rightly calls attention to this revealing exchange:
KATIE COURIC: “What happens if the goal of democracy doesn’t produce the desired outcome? In Gaza, the U.S. pushed hard for elections and Hamas won.”
SARAH PALIN: “Yeah, well especially in that region, though, we have to protect those who do seek democracy and support those who seek protections for the people who live there. What we’re seeing in the last couple of days here in New York is a President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, who would come on our soil and express such disdain for one of our closest allies and friends, Israel … and we’re hearing the evil that he speaks and if hearing him doesn’t allow Americans to commit more solidly to protecting the friends and allies that we need, especially there in the Mideast, then nothing will.”
As Goldberg says, the issue here isn’t that she gave a bad answer, rather “the issue here is that she didn’t know the question.” Indeed. This is one of those hard questions where you don’t expect a thoughtful, well-informed person to have a quick and easy answer. But by the same token, you do expect a thoughtful, well-informed person to be aware of the basic contours of the situation — the U.S. told the Palestinians that there could be no peace deal with Israel unless they held free and fair elections, then free and fair elections were held, and Hamas won. This is especially interesting in light of the fact that Palin has an Israeli flag in her office. It ought to tell you something about Israel’s false friends in the Christian Zionist movement that they feel free to take strong positions on life-and-death issues of middle east policy without having even a vague familiarity with the situation.