Anger over the Supreme Court's Dobbs abortion decision that aroused the ire of women has waned since the summer. In the immediate aftermath of that indefensible ruling and follow-up by states that enacted draconian laws restricting abortion, the level of rage was at a fever pitch. GOP candidates were so frightened that they took down pro-abortion statements from their websites and back-tracked their absolutist positions regarding the issue. But rage dissipates quickly, even more so in an era when many citizens have the attention span of a gnat.
Ire over Dobbs has receded, the victim of weekly reminders of how much more life’s basic necessities now cost. Although the causes of this inflation are many and complex, Americans invariably look for someone to blame and that makes the President a perfect target. No matter that Republicans don’t have a clue about how to bring down prices and won’t be able to do anything at all to ease inflation’s effects. When, as seems likely, they retake the House of Representatives and replace Speaker Pelosi with the hapless, two-faced Kevin McCarthy, their policy proposals (assuming they have any) are likely to be jokes.
And then there is crime, also a hot issue that, for reasons that make absolutely no sense, favors Republicans. Democrats cannot seem to counter the Republican barrage of false claims about crime despite all of the evidence in their favor. There are three obvious responses to the lies Republicans push about crime-ridden Democrat-run cities and high crime rates in blue states. They are there for the taking; only Democrats are not taking them: (1) WalletHub’s 50-metric analysis of the safest and least safe states paint a picture that Democrats should be shouting from the rooftops: Seven of the ten safest states are blue; the other three are purple. ALL TEN OF THE MOST DANGEROUS STATES ARE DEEPLY RED. (2) More guns = more crime, and it is Republicans who want everyone armed to the teeth. What did they think was going to happen when their policies result in millions more guns on the streets? (3) Republicans are so soft on crime that they still back their grand master, who is under investigation for such a long litany of high crimes that there isn’t space available to list them all here.
There are 399 Republican 2020 election liars (much more accurate than the gentler term, “deniers”) on congressional and statewide ballots this November. However, instead of blasting them for their shameful perfidy at every opportunity, Democrats talk little about this shocking assault on democracy. The message this sends is that this existential threat to America is not that big a deal. Democrats should be saying that Republican lies about stolen elections demonstrate that they hate America and want to replace our two-and-a-half-century democracy with an authoritarian dictatorship.
Midterms are almost always brutal for the party in power. In 2010, the racially-fueled Tea Party movement decimated Democratic ranks. In 2018, it was Trumplicans who lost bigly.
The remarkable thing about this year’s midterms is that after the unprecedented damage Trump and the party he transformed into a conspiratorial cult have done to this country over the last six years, that this collection of liars, sycophants, white supremacists and fascist-admirers without the hint of a constructive idea or interest in bettering people’s lives can be competitive, much less triumphant. But that is the bizarro world in which we live.
Brace yourselves for two years of political stalemate generated by Republican stunts around the debt ceiling, government shut-downs and universal obstructionism that will frustrate any attempts to address the problems afflicting our country. It is staggering to believe that this is what voters really want.
October 28, 2022