Politics Magazine

This Is Just Stupid (Or Racist)

Posted on the 22 August 2013 by Jobsanger
This Is Just Stupid (Or Racist) Public Policy Polling recently did a survey of Louisiana voters (between August 16th and 19th). The thrust of the survey was to see how current Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu stands with the states voters (and the poll showed she has a small lead at this time). But as they often do, PPP tossed in an extra question -- just to see what the reaction to it would be.
This time, they asked the Republicans answering the survey (274 GOP voters) -- "Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?" The response they got to that question was shocking to say the least.
The obvious answer is George W. Bush. He was president at the time -- and if he did not bear total responsibility for the poor response, he at least has to take the blame for putting an incompetent in charge of FEMA. Barack Obama was a new senator at that time (August 2005), and actually had only 8 months of experience. He had no control over the federal response to Katrina (and in fact, was not even being seriously discussed as a future presidential candidate at that time).
But facts have never been very important to the teabagger base of the Republican Party, and these Louisiana Republicans showed they weren't about to let some inconvenient facts keep them from blaming President Obama, or covering for President Bush. A ridiculous 29% of them (or about 3 out of 10) said it was Obama's fault, while only 28% blamed Bush -- and a whopping 44% couldn't decide whether it was Obama or Bush who was responsible. And the worst demographic was the over 65 group (people old enough to know better), 42% of which blamed Obama.
I'm not sure whether this is due to ignorance or racism. But after seeing the signs at GOP teabagger rallies over the last few years, I tend to think that both reasons may be responsible. A few months ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said the Republicans need to "stop being the stupid party". It now seems clear that his message has not filtered down to the party's teabagger base.

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