Doug Mataconis thinks that convincing the public to gut Medicare may be as simple as putting together a Draper-worthy PR blitz:
Republicans may find that they are losing the public relations battle over entitlement reform and deficit reduction…[….]
For better or worse, the public has become used to these programs in their present form, and they mostly like them. Changing them is going to require convincing the public that it’s necessary, and that they won’t lose out under a system, and that they might even be better off. So far, as Jazz Shaw notes over at Hot Air, that isn’t being done
It isn’t being done because it can’t be done. The Ryan plan wasn’t ineptitude with insufficient cover, it was a spectacularly slick roll out of a product that no one wants to buy. Slapping another label on the can won’t help Republicans sell their horse meat this time. Somebody stop me before I have to reach for the Canadian Club (if I stick with the clear liquors, I know where I stand).
Elia Isquire describes the insider fascination with PR magic very well:
Over-estimating the importance of “messaging” in politics is something I think almost all of us do from one time to another. In part it’s because our media is so narcissistic and spends such time focusing not on policy but “optics” — indeed, fetishizing phrases like that one or “PR” or “damage control” or “photo-op” to the point where they’re now rather mundance parts of our cultural vocabulary — implying that the real game of politics is the one played during commercials and inside the tiny little boxes that float right next to Chris Matthews’ head. I think it’s also a product of our increasingly living in the post-truth era, in which it’s simply assumed that everything can be equally popular, regardless of its merit, provided it’s “packaged” just right. (But that’s a longer, wankier, different post for a different time.)