Jennifer Rubin has a great post today which really gets at the failure of the president’s so-called “smart diplomacy” in the Middle east. The problem is not their policies, you see, but that they just need “some more PR. Because it is always about a PR deficiency and never a policy problem with this gang.”
I think the root problem of the Obama officials goes back to the 1980s. Back then, few of the smart set could accept the success of Ronald Reagan’s policies and the popularity of the man himself, so they decided the “amiable dunce” (as one of their number dubbed him) could attribute his amiability and achievements not to his ideas or policies, but his means of expressing them.
Now, I’ll grant there’s something to that. The Gipper was better able to communicate conservative ideas than was Barry Goldwater. But, that doesn’t mean the ideas themselves were unpopular. I mean, even today, with lackluster Republican leadership, the Gipper’s ideas as gaining greater currency as both Gallup and Pew polls have shown.
So, ignoring polling data about popular attitudes toward big government, Administration officials hold to their assumption that because they support a greater role for the federal government, the American people must also support big government–if Obama could only communicate his vision as did the Gipper did. Or, as in the case Rubin presented, because we support this Middle East policy, it must be a good one, even if it that policy promotes no progress.
And the same people faulted the incumbent’s predecessor for his stubbornness.