Tuesday, September 01, 2015


So it would appear that the Iran deal has the support of a majority of Americans:
A new survey of a representative sample of American voters showed that a majority of people want Congress to uphold the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.

According to the survey from the University of Maryland, 55 percent of people said that Congress should get behind the agreement, despite some concerns.
Ahh, but:
The poll was conducted online, and the participants went through an in-depth process of listening to arguments from both sides. People were subjected to a detailed list of critiques of the agreement, followed by rebuttals to those arguments with reasons to get behind the deal.
Respondents to this poll got a thorough briefing on the deal, with a balance of arguments from both sides. Then they were asked to come down on one side or the other. Only then did they choose the deal.

By contrast, here's what's happening in the real America, where no attempt has been made to balance the pro and con arguments citizens are hearing:
Other recent polls, providing few details or specifics of the deal, have generally found Americans tenuous about the agreement and tilting toward opposition.

For example, 55 percent of voters opposed the deal in a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday -- more than double the 25 percent who supported it. A mid-August CNN-ORC poll found 56 percent saying Congress should reject the deal....
In the actually existing America, right-wing propagandists flooded the zone with tens of millions of dollars' worth of ads describing the Iran deal as the gateway to nuclear oblivion for the West, while proponents barely tried to combat the media blitz. And polls conducted in that real-world America show significant opposition to the deal.

I realize that the Obama administration was focused on what was necessary to preserve the deal, which was persuading enough Democrats in Congress to sustain a veto of a Republican bill rejecting the agreement. But that's left us with a nation that thinks the deal is a terrible idea -- just as we're heading into an election season in which Democrats are going to have to run on the president's record.

Democrats fought this propaganda battle as poorly as they fought the hearts-and-minds battle over Obamacare -- and we're still dealing with the fallout from that Democratic failure. Yes, Obamacare is in place, but it's unloved, and it may be unloved for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Democrats have been shellacked in two straight midterms, and they're likely to go into the next presidential election with a sitting president of their own party under 50% approval and a nominee (whoever it is) who's regarded with suspicion by even some voters in the party. At least there could have been some effort to sell the administration's last huge foreign policy accomplishment.

But we're Democrats. We don't do messaging.


Unknown said...

All the information necessary for any citizen to read and assess the treaty is out there. We start Luntzifying this process, we might as well become Republicans.

Steve M. said...

A party that says "If you don't keep yourself fully informed, we're not even going to try communicating with you" is a party dooming itself to permanent minority status.

Marcus said...

You have to take into consideration the force you’re pushing against…. The Zionist wing of AIPAC...they are not that easy to out message
Very similar to the NRA….The American majority want changes but the political influence is too strong even after the killing of little kids in a school in Connecticut (still a fight to be had in the future)
So I would go easy on Democrats on that one…you forget the campaign messages of Obama while he was running were simply amazing…..btw Obamacare indirectly taxes the rich a little more for an overall financial reduced risk on middle class…that fuels a lot of anger on republican side

mlbxxxxxx said...

This is an aspect of the Obama Admin that has been both the most surprising as well as the most aggravating. I never expected them to be so bad a marketing. Bill Clinton got a lot of flack for endless campaigning, but that's part of the job and a part that Obama just kind of ignores. It's made an already hard row even harder to hoe.

But our party is also to blame. I wish everyday there was an alternative to the Democrats -- or that the Ds would wake up and shape up. Get rid of leadership like Wasserman-Schultz. Focus the party on a national agenda rather than the survival of individual congresspeople. It is really kind of disgusting. The GOP appears on the edge of catastrophe and we don't have a party apparatus that can effectively exploit that opportunity.

Victor said...

While Democrats are terrible with messaging with their constituents, the GOP is great at massaging their constituents hatreds, fears, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and "Christian" religious "persecutions" - among other things.

peabody nobis said...

I think the reasons for "poor messaging" are obvious: Democrats are the only ones actually "working" at their jobs of legislating. The GOP handed over to ALEC that responsibility.
Consequently, Dems don't have time to be "selling" anything.

Belvoir said...

It stinks that we don't do messaging. And I heartily agree with the great Charlie pierce at Esquire that Debbie Wasserman Schulz is worse than useless as the head of the DNC. She's presided over two Democratic midterm wipeouts, and I cringe whenever I see her on TV with her ratty hair and yammering, frantic, defensive vocal style. Debbie is terrible , she really has to go. A nice person I'm sure, but my God she's been ineffective and useless.

Oh, and she's way big with the Lieberman lobby, a but of an Israel-Firster, and the DNC under her has outrageously not supported Obama on the Iran nuclear deal. While opponents of the deal are running scary adds against the Iran deal every half hour. Debbie is the worst.