Public Policy Polling’s new poll asked, among other questions: “Who do you think deserves more credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?” Now, that’s a very odd question, in that you would be hard pressed to come up with a scenario in which Mitt Romney had anything to do with the Osama bin Laden raid at all—much less more to do with it than the actual president that gave the go-ahead. The results by party, though, may be the new craziest thing you’ve ever seen [PDF]:
Check out the Republican numbers—are these people actively getting dumber now? Almost half as many Republicans are willing to credit Mitt Romney for the bin Laden raid as are willing to credit the president himself, and nearly half of all Republicans just plain can’t decide which of those two people was more responsible. That’s a bit akin to asking Republicans whether the moon is made of cheese and getting only about a third of them to fess up that no, it probably isn’t.
If I had to give a guesstimation on what’s going on here (and rest assured, I do), I would have to guess that it’s raw spite. Mere misinformation isn’t good enough, as the Democratic and independent numbers both show that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get this one right. It’s possible Republican voters are just conspicuously dumber than everybody else (it does tend to explain a lot) but it depressingly seems more likely that Republicans just loathe the Democratic president so much that they’re willing to make up their own versions of reality, if that’s what it takes to make them feel better. So fine: According to one in six of them, Mitt Freaking Romney is the one who got Osama bin Laden. He killed him with a big ol’ laser-guided tax cut. Paul Ryan helped.
One worrisome aspect about this is that it again points to a base that is unhinged from reality. If Obama wins—and he’s definitely winning right now, there’s no question about it—there’s still no sign that Republicans are going to do anything but get even more crazy after the election. A lot more crazy.