While he paints a convincing portrait of a prime minister undone by a poor media strategy, I do not think the press led on the postal rebel issue. Indeed, the press, the commentariat and the politicians saw little disturbing in the turnarounds and whealing-'n-dealing on both sides. For them, it was business as usual.
From my rickety seat it looked like the political sophisticates started backpaddling like crazy once they understood that the public was less than pleased with the attempt to sneak the postal rebels back into the LDP.
But then again, I am an idiot.
Later - The imagery, if not exactly the text, of the cartoon in today's Sankei Shimbun indicates that Abe's welcoming back of the lost flock with open arms invoked the law of unintended consequences.
Interesting how the text posits the return of "DISAPPROVAL RATING" as a natural phenomenon, like the return of the birds (from Siberia, I suppose) at the end of the year.
Then again, staggering, stultifying, bludgeoning unpopularity was the natural state of the most recent string of LDP prime ministers until the celebrated Mr. K came along.
You cannot get the one (restore the LDP of old) without the other (public disgust).
Even Later - For a look at the origins of this contretemps, here is a Shisaku flashback.