Big Important Piece of the Afternoon: The Wages of Spin, by Timothy Darlymple
November 16, 2010 Leave a comment
Democrats would prefer to believe the latter. Since their policies are superior, they believe, supporting them is rational. If the American people reject the policies themselves, then either the policies or the American people are irrational. Either the policies fail to benefit the people, or the people cannot see how richly they benefit from them. In either case, the Democrats’ political fortunes are bleak. But if the problem is not with the product but with the salesmanship, then the Democrats only need to find the right way to educate and persuade the electorate. Once the American people see the superior rationality of liberal policies, then the future will be bright again for the Left.
Liberal commentators began offering the poor-salesmanship theory as soon as the American public began to sour on the Obama administration, especially when opposition to Obamacare accelerated in the summer of 2009. Obama’s failure is “one of salesmanship,” said Clive Crook in the Financial Times in July 2009. “Obama’s sales pitch still needs work,” said the Concord Monitor as it defended the essence of Obamacare.
And the same story has been told ever since. The problem is not limited to health care alone, said John Dickerson in a Slate article entitled “Death of a Salesman.” People “aren’t buying” Obama’s arguments on a slew of issues. Ezra Kleinsummarizes Obama’s first year as one of “legislation” and not “persuasion,” “winning achievements” instead of “winning arguments.” More recently, Politicoinformed us that the Obama presidency is full of “substantive achievements” but surprisingly inept at explaining and receiving the credit for them.