When I talk about my work with my parents, they invariably ask, "Why do so many people vote against their interests?" And my response is that it's messaging. While progressives may have the moral and --dare I say it?--economic high ground, the fact remains that we suck at conveying those ideas. Conservatives not only win in their ability to shape easily digestible sound bytes that sound sensible until you subject them to a little scrutiny, but they also are fantastic at message discipline. You will hear the same phrase (we can't raise taxes on the job creators!) over and over again, until it becomes conventional wisdom. Add the daily talking points-mandated Fox News anchors and you have a messaging juggernaut.
Of course, it all comes crashing down when you have a conservative who won't play. Amato caught Ben Stein on one of his periodic appearances on The O'Reilly Factor and he steadfastly refused to play along with one of the benchmarks of conservative economic policy--that taxing the rich hurts the economy--to Billo's increasing chagrin.