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View Diary: This Is What Leadership Looks Like: Broad-Based Increase in Support for Marriage Equality (22 comments)

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  •  Unforeseeable? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, HeyMikey

    I find it hard to believe that this is a surprise to anyone in the West Wing.  If it is, they need to find a new career.  Of course the American public was ahead of the Administration on this (particularly the Democratic base), and of course, a little Presidential leadership made a difference.  All of which seems to me to raise the question, What was the hold-up; what were they waiting for?  I can spin a bunch of theories, which are worth what I got paid for them.  Instead, I would like a little journalistic follow-up.  To the extent that what we are really after here is good governance, not just victory for our side, now is the time to hold our leader's feet to the fire too.

    •  Journalistic follow-up would be very, very ... (4+ / 0-)
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      lgmcp, salmo, HudsonValleyMark, Matt Z

      ... interesting indeed.  For example, it sure seems as if Obama responded to pressure to Evolve Already!, but how did that play out in West Wing discussions?  etc, etc.

      I'm sure they polled the ever living daylights out of this issue and discovered it was, politically, at worst a draw.  But I'm not sure how anybody would be able to construct a poll that would show how attitudes about an issue so highly visible would change based on Obama's endorsement of marriage equality, because you can find plenty of stories of people who were initially appalled by Obama's announcement, but after a few weeks of thinking and discussion, came around to changing their own mind.  You just can't use a poll to simulate all that thinking and discussion.  So, if (IF!) a significant proportion of mind-changers had to think about it for a while, any pre-announcement polling would not have been accurate about the effect of the announcement.

      •  Opinion changes on big issues come slowly, (3+ / 0-)
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        lgmcp, HeyMikey, salmo

        one person at a time.  People are influenced by their parents, their friends, their neighbors, the people they work with, opinion leaders.  It is a complex process.  I took a class in "Public Opinion and Propaganda" when I was in college which was pretty mind opening to me at the time.  

        The President helps, but he is just one of many elements needed to move public opinion and without the compelling and consistent work of activists his support would not help as much as it has.

        “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

        by ahumbleopinion on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:19:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Look at the polling on the mandate (0+ / 0-)

        We have polls showing that the over-whelming majority of Democrats would be disappointed if the Supreme Court strikes down the mandate, even though in 2008 Obama argued vigorously and effectively against it, and even though it is a Heritage Foundation idea, and even though most of us view it as a capitulation to insurance companies who in our preferred health care system would have little to no role in the way we get health care.  In other words, his base has twisted itself into a pretzel in its overwhelming desire to support his Presidency.  

        I can go on.  This is hardly unique.  More importantly, I'm sure both of us can quickly recall a history showing beyond question that the Obama staff and perhaps Obama himself think he is unconstrained by the views of his base.  Consider the "grand bargain."  If he counts of the willingness of his base to support him even when he is pushing policies that will hurt us, and even when he knows we will see it as a sell-out, how is it possible he and his staff did not see the potential for movement his leadership on marriage equality would create?  

        My comments should not be viewed as cast in opposition to the latest policies Obama has announced.  Far from it.  What I want to know is why now, and how do progressives push those levers that produced these results again, harder?  After all, Obama getting a second term is a means to an end, not the end itself.  

        •  One lever to push that seemed to work (3+ / 0-)
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          salmo, gabjoh, ebohlman

          Was DREAM act protesters occupying Obama's campaign offices.   Or, to contradict myself, maybe Obama planned this announcement months ago, timed for the good of the campaign, and it had nothing to do with the protests.  (Again, this goes back to your point that some good reporting would be nice...)

          The big difference between marriage equality and other issues is that both Democrats and Republicans moved towards Obama's position.  The movement of Obama supporters, yes, I agree, that is potential that should and would have been foreseen, based on patterns you point out.  It's the Republican movement, which instead of cancelling out the Democrats led to movement of the overall population, that is different from other issues.

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