It’s customary for political partisans to blame the opposition for everything that’s wrong, though usually those assigning blame have the good sense to stay within the correct historical timeline.
Not Louisiana Republicans, apparently.
A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows that 29 percent of Louisiana Republicans blame President Obama for the lax federal response to Hurricane Katrina, while 28 percent blame President George W. Bush, and a whopping 44 percent have no idea who was at fault.
Admittedly, PPP is a Democratic-leaning polling group, so perhaps the questions were skewered to embarrass Republicans. Still, even a one-percent response indicating Obama is to blame for the poor handling of the Katrina aftermath would be shocking.
The results are shocking because Katrina battered the Bayou State in August 2005; Obama did not become president until January 2009. Moreover, Obama has received universally high marks for his handling of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 (along with his erstwhile buddy, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie).
Shocking, but not surprising, given the penchant among Republicans to blame Obama for everything. It would not be surprising if subsequent polls showed sizable numbers of Republicans believed Obama responsible for the intelligence failure preceding 9/11, or for the failure to anticipate the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, or for the blowing up of the Maine in Havana harbor. After all, when you indulge in fantasies and conspiracies, the sky’s the limit.
Since many Republicans -- especially those on the far right, who seem to be calling the shots these days in the GOP -- don’t recognize Obama as a legitimate president, it follows that they would blame him for everything that goes wrong. After all, Republican leaders had no reluctance to hold the president responsible for widespread flight delays resulting from the sequester, even though the GOP has long argued for spending cuts and torpedoed all attempts to reach a budget deal to head off the sequestration.
Consistency in politics is no virtue, apparently.
Consistency certainly doesn’t apply to Obamacare. Republicans have done everything in their power to frustrate, delay, and prevent implementation of the Affordable Care Act. They have voted 40 times in the House to repeal the president’s signature accomplishment. Yet, when the administration announced plans to delay implementation of one part of the law for a year -- the employer mandate, a minor provision -- Republicans screamed foul and held at least three hearings in the House to probe the administration’s failure to put the law into effect by 2014.
In other words, House Republicans investigated the Obama administration for failing to implement part of a law Republicans have striven mightily to repeal.
It is standard operating procedure to blame the political opposition; both parties do it, though the Republicans in their inconsistency have taken the blame game to new heights (depths?).
But back to those Louisiana Republicans: Are they just ill-informed? So battered by Republican finger pointing that they blame the president for everything?
It’s hard to tell, but they are the folks who lived through Katrina.
Hard to imagine they don’t recall President Bush saying, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”