Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) writes a USA Today op-ed saying that his Republican counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has essentially "made the case for a Democratic Senate" by promising to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits and giving another go at Affordable Care Act repeal. It's nice to see the Democrats' leader in the Senate saying all that stuff out loud, rather than mouthing yet more pablum about how we all have to work together, but it would make more of a difference now if Democrats had spent 2009 and 2010 doing good works with their near-total power, rather than telling everyone we had to try to get along with the same Republicans who had just got done almost ruining our country.
Surprise, surprise, our President has indulged in a lot of hysteria over a purported "caravan" of would-be immigrants descending on our border, but our Administration's agencies have, wouldn't you know, taken approximately zero action to actually deal with such a thing. After all, the best course of action in the face of a crisis is no action, so you can blame other people for it, let the crises keep happening, keep blaming other people, and stoke your votaries into a state of rage! And they say our President isn't a real Republican.
Of course, when our President has a saucepan he's going to bang a hole in it, so naturally he says this "caravan" has "unknown Middle Easterners" in it. Suggesting that our Southwest border is a secret conduit for Middle Eastern terrorists is an old argument, of course -- remember when Tom Cotton rode his claims of ISIS/Mexican drug cartel collaboration all the way to a U.S. Senate seat in Arkansas? Good times! -- but too many folks still have a problem telling the difference between something they've heard and something that is, as well as the difference between a suspect and a criminal and the difference between something we "just know" and something we can actually prove.
But fear isn't the only arrow in our President's quiver as the midterms approach -- he's also got lies! Our media call his sudden tax cut proposal a "mystery," given that Congress would have to pass another tax cut and won't be back in session until after the elections, but it's really not a mystery at all, if you assume he just says whatever he thinks will get him the most attention without worrying about whether he'll actually do it. He's hoping to drive turnout in favor of Republicans, with the help of his votaries who'll moronically intone HE CUT YOUR TAXES! I'm feeling charitable, so I'll suppose, this once, that our media's problem in decoding the ploy has to do with its sheer nakedness.
At least one other observer thinks this "middle class tax cut" "plan" will backfire on Republicans, since it'll remind voters that Republicans have already passed a tax "cut" that went mostly to rich folks and corporations. I can see where Mr. Newmyer's coming from, but he clearly hasn't anticipated our President saying I WANT A TAX CUT FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS BUT THE DEMOCRATS WON'T LET ME!!!!!, at which point we'll all be talking about this new BS tax cut, and not the tax "cut" they already passed that we all see through. I mean, you don't expect him to tell the truth about Congress being out of session and legislation taking time to pass, do you?
Finally, Rick Hasen at the Harvard Law Review blog describes just how much worse it could get for state-level redistricting efforts. Voters in several states are trying to pass ballot initiatives that would taking redistricting away from (highly self-interested!) legislators and give it to independent redistricting commissions, and even though our Supreme Court just said (in 2015) that such a process would be part of the legislative process and thus Constitutional, you can just imagine the newly-emboldened five-member right-wing majority (led by that compulsive literalist, John Roberts) overturning that precedent and saying that a legislature either is a legislature or it isn't. (If our Court doesn't want to appear too partisan, I suppose, it could rule that a legislature could cede its redistricting responsibility to an independent commission through law.)