Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
What happens when American voters, in large numbers, are out of touch with reality? We are about to find out, according to an intriguing analysis of the 2010 midterm elections. And it probably will not be pretty.
Exit polls indicate that one of the primary reasons many voters gave for shunning Democrats is President Barack Obama's association with the Wall Street bailout. Yes, that's the same Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that was started by . . . George W. Bush, Obama's Republican predecessor.
That's just one of many head scratchers that Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin present in a New Republic study titled "Job Loss and Liberal Apathy: A New Interpretation of the 2010 Election Results."
After reading The New Republic piece, one could make a strong argument that the 2010 midterms are the most glaring example of irrational voting in American history. In essence, voters blamed Obama and Democrats for something that George W. Bush and Republicans did.
If the issues at hand were not so serious, one would be tempted to guffaw upon reading the Teixeira/Halpin piece. Instead, a rational person can only shake his head and wonder if our society has become so dysfunctional that our future is imperiled.
Consider this from Teixeira and Halpin:
More voters (35 percent) blamed Wall Street for today's economic problems rather than President Bush (29 percent) or President Obama (23 percent). But these Wall Street-blaming voters supported Republicans by 56-42 percent. The Obama administration's association with bailing out Wall Street bankers, who are heavily blamed for the bad economy, apparently had a negative effect on Democratic performance in this election.
Actually, there were signs before the election that this was going to happen. On August 12, CBS News produced an article titled "More Americans think Obama, Not Bush, Enacted Bank Bailouts, Poll Shows."
Reported CBS News:
Nearly half of Americans incorrectly think President Obama started the bank bailout program, otherwise known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a new poll shows.
Just 34 percent of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center correctly said that TARP was enacted by the Bush administration. Almost half--47 percent--think Mr. Obama started the bank bailout, according to the survey, conducted July 1-5. There was no partisan divide on the issue.