“All of the Above” Is a Perfectly Fine Republican Midterm Strategy


Just a quick note to my fellow liberals. I occasionally see a bit of crowing over the fact that Republicans can’t agree on a coherent midterm story. Is it going to be Benghazi? The economy? Obamacare? Bowe Bergdahl? The EPA? Vladimir Putin? Or what? Republicans are in disarray!

I wouldn’t count on that. Not all of these things will have the legs to carry them all the way to November, but that doesn’t matter. They all reflect badly on Obama, and as this stuff piles up, low-information centrists and leaners all start to think that there must really be something wrong with Obama and his fellow Democrats, even if they don’t quite know what. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?

An “all of the above” strategy will probably work just fine for Republicans. I doubt that the outrage over Bowe Bergdahl will last long, for example, but the weak White House response to it just adds to the perception that Obama is a weak manager and maybe Republicans are right about him. In November, even if nobody remembers Bergdahl, plenty of people will retain a vague memory that something wasn’t quite right about that whole Afghanistan thing. And because of that, they’ll pull the lever for their local Republican.

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

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