Voters have great difficulty judging which aspects of their own and the country’s well-being are the responsibility of elected leaders and which are not. In the summer of 1916, for example, a dramatic weeklong series of shark attacks along New Jersey beaches left four people dead. Tourists fled, leaving some resorts with 75 percent vacancy rates in the midst of their high season. Letters poured into congressional offices demanding federal action; but what action would be effective in such circumstances? Voters probably didn’t know, but neither did they care. When President Woodrow Wilson—a former governor of New Jersey with strong local ties—ran for reelection a few months later, he was punished at the polls, losing as much as 10 percent of his expected vote in towns where shark attacks had occurred.This time, of course, the sharks' bite was 30 years of failed neo-Liberal, Reganite, Thatcherite, and Libertarian policies. Which is to say, stuff over which Feingold had less control that Wilson did sharks.
New Jersey voters’ reaction to shark attacks was dramatic, but hardly anomalous.
The idiotic sharks attack therefore I won't vote for the incumbent dynamic explains why this dust up between Glenn Greenwald and Larry ODonnell is so embarrassing for O'Donnell; he, after all, blamed policies when its was sharks.