The issue here is not that Palin didn’t know the answer. There are many possible answers to this question, some of which are right and some of which are wrong. The issue here is that she didn’t know the question. Because she was apparently ignorant of the subject, she endorsed Hamas’ victory, and, in essence, called for the U.S. to “protect” Islamists who seek to use democratic elections to lever themselves into power. And, of course, Ahmadinejad came to power in a more-or-less democratic election. Palin’s answer was truly remarkable. A person who could be President of the United States has shown herself to be completely ignorant of one of the most vexing and important foreign policy questions of the day. Freshman congressmen know how to answer this question. ~Jeffrey Goldberg
I would submit that there are more than a few freshmen in college who would know how to answer this question.
Goldberg is responding to her answer on Hamas and democracy, which I had called pathetic last week. In fairness to Palin, what she said was not exactly “endorsing” Hamas as Goldberg puts it, since it would require her to know what Hamas was for her to endorse it. It’s true that she didn’t know the question, and so fell back on the old stand-bys of warning about mean ol’ Ahmadinejad and praising good ol’ democracy. So she unknowingly blundered into holding the same position as…the Bush administration. The relevant issue here is not that Palin blundered into unwitting support for Hamas, but that the Bush administration, fully aware of what Hamas represented, actively pushed for Palestinian elections. Palin has the excuse that she doesn’t know anything about the situation–what was their excuse?