The White House "Straight Outta Compton" Meme Was Super Awkward
If there's one thing virtually everyone should be able to agree on, it's that the Obama White House generally gets social media — at least, moreso than most political operations. But the general consensus seems to be that they overplayed their hands a little bit on Thursday. The White House's usage of the Straight Outta Compton meme in regards to the Iran nuclear deal fell pretty flat.
The administration's social media track record to date has shown they're usually pretty sharp about the power of images. Remember that epic photo of President Obama winding up to hurl a football from the 2012 presidential campaign? Sure, it might not have bipartisan appeal, but the viral appeal was well-recognized. Or the photo-op with American Olympian McKayla Maroney, doing that face? Or, on a more serious note, Michelle Obama's embrace of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag?
Simply put, this latest offering just isn't quite up to snuff. Setting aside the fact that it's always easy to hop on a meme that's already in full flourish — as was the case with the Straight Outta Compton photoshops by the time this tweet went out from @TheIranDeal — even diehard supporters of the deal could've probably seen this was a little silly.
It's also important to note that the meme isn't exactly, well, true. The nuclear deal as negotiated wouldn't leave Iran "Straight Outta Uranium," nor has anybody seriously argued that it would. Rather, it cuts Iran's uranium stockpile from 10,000 kilograms total to just 300 kilograms. It's an impressive achievement, no doubt, but Iran is far from straight outta anything.
And the fact that Iran has been allowed to hang on to some uranium (for the stated purpose of energy development) is integral to the agreement. Iran has long maintained that they only want to enrich uranium for nuclear energy purposes, a claim many countries have disputed and derided. But under the new deal, that's the standard they'll be held to.
In short, the meme is an attention-grabber, there's no doubt about that. If the goal was to draw a lot of attention to the administration's anti-nuclear-proliferation efforts, with a side of nostalgia and devotion for early '90s gangsta rap, I guess this is as about as good a job as anyone could've done. Some conservatives have decried it as representing a lack of seriousness, of course, but the only thing that truly matters is where the votes ultimately fall. The fate of the Iran nuclear deal is still very much unsettled, as it requires congressional approval.