Listen: Barack Obama has come unstuck in time.
Recently, the polling outfit Public Policy Polling did a survey of self-identified Republicans in Louisiana. They were asked whether they called themselves liberal or conservative (not surprisingly, 88 percent said they were either “somewhat conservative” or “very conservative”) and who they supported for the 2016 GOP nomination (also not surprisingly for this early stage, answers were all over the map and inconclusive).
But one question resulted in a truly jaw-dropping answer. When asked, “Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina, George W. Bush or Barack Obama?”
Trick question, right? After all, at the time of the hurricane in 2005, The President Who Must Not Be Named was chief executive. The commander in chief. The Big Kahuna. And, let us not forget, he was the guy who appointed the infamously inept Michael “Brownie” Brown as director of FEMA and told him, “You’re doin’ a heck of a job, Brownie,” as people died. Barack Obama was only an up-and-coming but still junior senator from Illinois.
And yet, 29 percent of Louisiana Republicans said it was Obama who was responsible for the botched response. Another 44 percent said they weren’t sure.
I guess this should probably come as no great surprise. This is, after all, the party that blamed President Obama for the Great Recession, even though the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (the people who keep an eye on such things) pegged the beginning of the recession at December 2007. And lest we forget, John McCain Who Was a POW ran ads blaming Obama for high gas prices during the 2008 campaign.
By the way, did you know that Obama is also to blame for all current racism in America? Yes, the latest Republican trope seems to be that because Barack Obama commented on the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case by observing (accurately) that a lot of young black men have been viewed with suspicion and fear by white people for years, and that that’s actually happened to him, we are now “divided along racial lines,” and it’s all his fault.
Because, as we all know, racism never existed before the Leader of the Free World “stuck his nose” (as they put it) into the issue. Apparently, the right has barely learned to tolerate the president being black; having him mention that he’s had experiences common to black men in America is grounds for yet another explosion of white self-pity and butthurt.
And, of course, it’s an article of faith in the land of Wingnuttia that Barack Obama was personally involved in the IRS “targeting” of conservative groups (even though all the evidence now shows that both conservative and liberal groups were scrutinized). It’s also an article of faith that he personally issued a “stand down” order calling off a rescue attempt in Benghazi and therefore caused the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens.
When I say “faith,” by the way, I’m using the word in the sense of “nutty things they believe and will defend even unto death even in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
But this idea that, apparently, Barack Obama can travel back in time to screw things up is a new mutation of Obama Derangement Syndrome.
What will the GOP try to blame next on Time Traveling Barack Obama (hereinafter referred to as TTBO)? Will Darrell Issa claim to have discovered TTBO’s voice screaming “Kill Whitey” on the newly released Watergate tapes?
Will we hear Glenn Beck blubbering that TTBO knew ahead of time that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor and did nothing because he wanted to promote a liberal racial agenda by getting America into a war that would eventually result in the desegregation of the U.S. military?
Will Michele Bachmann announce the finding of a secret scroll that implicates TTBO in the assassination of Julius Caesar because he wanted the African empire of Carthage to win the Punic Wars? (I know, Carthage was defeated nearly 50 years before Julius was born, but this is Michele Bachmann we’re talking about here.)
What? You think any of this is too crazy for even the Republicans to say? Friends, in a world where a full 73 percent of the GOPers in the Pelican State either think Barack Obama was in charge of the response to hurricane Katrina or are willing to believe that he was, there is no such thing as too crazy.