The first thing Bartels did was break down economic performance by income class. The unsurprising result is shown in the chart….
Under Democratic presidents, every income class did well but the poorest did best. The bottom 20% had average pretax income growth of 2.63% per year while the top 5% showed pretax income growth of 2.11% per year.
Republicans were polar opposites. Not only was their overall performance worse than Democrats, but it was wildly tilted toward the well off. The bottom 20% saw pretax income growth of only .6% per year while the top 5% enjoyed pretax income growth of 2.09% per year. (What's more, the trendline is pretty clear: if the chart were extended to show the really rich — the top 1% and the top .1% — the Republican growth numbers for them would be higher than the Democratic numbers.)
In other words, Republican presidents produce poor economic performance because they're obsessed with helping the well off. Their focus is on the wealthiest 5%, and the numbers show it. At least 95% of the country does better under Democrats. (source)
The Republicans are salivating over the opportunity to send America into the twenty-first century as the first developed nation to return to a state of feudalism.
The 2005 Kevin Drum article cited as source above (based on the Bartels paper and subsequent book) goes on to show that Republican presidents tend to produce their best economic performance in the year of the election, to induce lower income groups to vote for them.
So it would appear the Pyrrhic victory sought by the Republicans—an economic collapse under President Obama to usher in their king—is part of a longer pattern of election year economic manipulations of long standing.
God help us.