Media Narratives Fall Apart: 67% of Americans Back Obama on Syria

When we found out last Tuesday that a mere 60% of Americans who saw the president's speech on Syria last Tuesday agreed with his approach, it turns out that it was a rather conservative estimate. A new poll out from Pew today shows that 67% of Americans approve of the president's decision to put military action on pause while he hangs it over Syria and gets Russia and Syria to acquiesce to every single one of his demands.

Not only that, the poll shows the president's approach beginning to turn the corner on American popular support for military action should Syria fail to meet its obligations. In just one week between Pew's poll earlier this month and the new poll, opposition to military action should Syria fail to comply has dropped by a whopping 14 points (from 63 to 49 percent) and support has risen by 9 points (from 28 to 37 percent) - that's a closing of the gap in the president's favor by an astounding 23 points.

And that was just one speech.

I understand how baffling this has to be for the beltway media. Most outlets are avoiding mention even as they are reporting significant news today on Syria, the UN report on the Syrian use of chemical weapons, and the US-Russia agreement on Syrian disarmament. After all, media prognosticators and other detractors of the president's have thus far given us the following narratives on the brilliant stroke of peace-through-strength diplomacy that this president's team has displayed:
  • Putin undercut Obama. (yes, by completely surrendering to Obama's demands).
  • "Activists" shut down the war drums by their incredible amounts of screams.
  • Putin "bailed out" Obama.
  • By doing this, Obama is being (a) indecisive, (b) weak, (c) pussy or (d) all of the above.
Unfortunately for the beltway, overwhelmingly popular move wasn't part of the narrative about Obama's three-dimensional-chess, which it has turned out to be.

One of the things the media never understood, writ large, is this: Barack Obama doesn't bluff, and he does not lie. The president has always said that he prefers a diplomatic solution, and his approach has always followed that. He is willing to use force as a last resort, but the major media outlets made a major blunder by portraying him as a war happy president who was itching to pull the trigger on Syria. The president spoke, Americans listened, and that narrative fell apart.


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