Mitt Romney might have killed Osama?


If he did it... (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post) (Bill O'Leary/WASHINGTON POST)

Possibly Ohioans are simply sick of being asked about how critical Obama was in killing bin Laden.

“Yes!” they shriek. “We know!”

During the first six public opinion polls they were stoic. “Yes,” they said. “President Obama did that, sure.”

But as the weeks turned into months and the election grew closer, they became irritable. “He killed Osama, you say?” they ask. “No, doesn’t ring a bell. You’ll have to remind me, say by blanketing the airwaves with ads and constantly alluding to it during the Democratic National Convention.”

Or maybe these Ohioans know things we don’t. Don’t count Mitt out, they protest. After all, he likes to hunt small varmints. Perhaps, addled by months of Priorities USA ads, Ohio voters assume that he actually did kill Osama, either with his bare hands, or possibly just by having Bain Capital fire his spouse. No wonder he keeps denouncing those leaks. He’s just a modest guy who doesn’t want people to come pouring adulation at his feet.

Or this could simply be a product of the increasing tendency of facts to settle along partisan lines. Depending on whom you ask, all kinds of strange things are obviously true. The same 31 percent of respondents in a July Pew poll said they did not know whether President Obama was Christian or Muslim. And keep in mind that a full 51 percent of Americans apparently think that weather can impact “cloud” computing. (Ha-ha, 51 percent of voters. No doubt these are the modern-day descendants of the people who thought computer mice ate cheese.)

My point is, these surveys are always depressing. Some people are always willing to believe anything. The precise number of the “some people” whom Abraham Lincoln said you could fool all the time hovers always around 16 percent. That’s the number who wanted to vote for Donald Trump.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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