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October 8, 2013
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H.G. Wells strikes again

Barack Obama has a time machine. Seriously. If Republicans are to be believed, this must be true.

H. G. Wells was the author of the book “The Time Machine.” I recently read a novel where Wells was the main character and time travel was apparently a reality. If Republican polls and comments can be believed, Republicans also believe in time travel as a practical achievement. Either that, or Republicans are abysmally ignorant.

On Aug. 23, 2005, Hurricane Katrina formed in the Gulf of Mexico. It hit several states, causing 1,833 deaths and $81 billion in damage. It dissipated on Aug. 30. The pictures of people on rooftops and sheltering in the Superdome are still haunting. It was an event that Louisianans will never forget.

From Aug. 16-19, a poll was taken in Louisiana. The question was: “Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?” In response, 29 percent blamed Obama, 28 percent blamed Bush, and 44 percent weren’t sure. For those who aren’t sure, Bush, who did remain on vacation for several days, was president when Katrina hit. Obama didn’t become president until Jan. 20, 2009.

How could anyone blame Obama for the debacle that was the federal response to Katrina? Perhaps this quote from the Washington Post, Aug. 28, helps explain it: “For this reason, voters in reliably Republican states, which tend to be poorer, with lower test scores, are more vulnerable to misinformation. To use one measure, the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress test of eighth-grade reading, all but one of the top 10 states were in Obama’s column in 2012. Of the 19 doing worse than average, 14 were red states.”

Before someone starts frothing at the mouth, saying this is a set-up, how about this? “But, you know, we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.” Remember who said that? Dana Perino, GW Bush’s press secretary. She said this on Fox News on Nov. 24, 2009, just after the Fort Hood shooting; all the Fox commentators with her nodded in agreement. Apparently 2,996 dead on 9/11 doesn’t count. I’m not sure if ignorance of that depth is curable.

In the recent debate about Syria, the effect of the war in Iraq has often been mentioned. During a Sept. 4, 2013, interview with Savannah Guthrie, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said this about his role in leading us into a war based on lies: “President Bush went to the Congress, got the support of the Congress, went to the UN, got the support of the UN and fashioned a very large coalition so it seems to me that all the appropriate steps were taken and the Congress, Democratic congress, voted for regime change in Iraq.”

The Iraq war began on March 20, 2003. From Jan. 3, 2001 until Jan. 3, 2003, the House was under Republican control; the Senate was tied. On Jan. 3, 2003, Republicans took control of the House and Senate, and held control until Jan. 3, 2007. Some Democrats did vote for the war resolution, but Rumsfeld’s statement that it was a “Democratic congress” shows his complete contempt for truth. But, sadly, that’s not a surprise.

The housing bubble collapse began in 2006; in March 2007, home sales and prices fell at the steepest rate since the Savings and Loan crisis in 1989. On Dec. 30, 2008, the home price index reported the largest price drop in its history. The TARP bailout of Wall Street was signed into law by Bush on Oct. 3, 2008, over a month before Obama was elected president. Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009. Clearly, this was all Obama’s fault.

Why are Republicans so clueless when it comes to placing blame? This comment from former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, R-Pa., may explain it.

“We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”

When people get their information from Fox and online emails, their ignorance is not surprising.

Republicans live in a world where four dead Americans in Benghazi is an impeachable offense, but 2,996 dead on 9/11 made GW Bush a hero. They jump on every conspiracy theory floating in the blogosphere. They seem unable to separate fact from fiction. But it’s easy to swallow conspiracy theories when your grasp on reality is so shaky. Maybe they really do believe there is a time machine in the White House basement.

Jeanette Strong’s column appears every other Wednesday.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Oct 8, 2013 05:59PM Published Oct 8, 2013 05:59PM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.