Brian and Garrett Fahy

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where hostages develop and express empathy and positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.

Such feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who mistake a lack of abuse for an act of kindness. Electoral Stockholm Syndrome is apparently alive and well in America. How else to explain Barack Obama’s victory in the very states most hurt by his policies the last four years?

During the campaign, President Obama spent months and over a billion dollars blatantly misrepresenting history and his record to struggling swing voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, Virginia, and Nevada. They nonetheless rewarded him with a second term. A few examples of this swing state Stockholm Syndrome are illustrative: the stimulus, the cause of the recession, Wall Street “reform,” and energy policy.

First, the president misrepresented the effects of the $860 billion stimulus, which stimulated nothing but the pocketbooks of the unions to which the stimulus bribes were directed. No jobs were “saved or created” by this unprecedented waste, which kicked in after the recession ended in June of 2009. Indeed, the swing states experienced no measureable decline in unemployment after the stimulus. Yet exit polls inexplicably showed voters thought Obama’s policies, more than Mitt Romney’s, favored the middle class.

Second, president Obama blatantly ignored his party’s principal culpability for the financial crisis. He knowingly and falsely claimed that George W. Bush’s deregulation caused the recession when he knew the truth was otherwise: that Democrats, led by Bill Clinton and Barney Frank, forced banks, at legal knife-point, to provide mortgages to unworthy borrowers. He further knew that Democrats legislatively thwarted every effort by Bush to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and called such efforts “racist.”

Remarkably, swing state voters, though suffering record foreclosures (Nevada) and unemployment (Michigan) were apparently eager for another swig of Obama’s hemlock. These voters accepted the president’s untruths as gospel and voted accordingly. Incredibly, Nevada went for Obama 52.3% to 45.7%.

Brian and Garrett Fahy

Brian and Garrett Fahy are attorneys from Los Angeles who previously worked in the White House and Senate Republican Conference, respectively. They write on national legal and political affairs. They can be reached at