“While abortion is an issue people care about, the data makes clear that it is not among the top issues that will drive voting behavior in November,” the Republican State Leadership Committee wrote in a memo earlier in the summer. “We have state Democrats in full retreat on the economy, and now is not the time to let them off the hook.”
In a video statement about the amendment vote to secure abortion rights in Michigan, Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon opened and closed with the economy, saying, “But remember this: The governor’s race will be about whether you want to increase jobs, improve schools, reduce crime, and be able to afford your gas and groceries.
Republicans were going to frame Democrats as “angry” and “strident” and “using obsession over abortion to avoid talking about their record.”
It wasn’t just abortion that Republicans wanted to paint as a silly Democratic distraction. Sen. Marco Rubio described the Respect for Marriage Act, a plan by Democrats to make sure the Supreme Court doesn’t take away another right, as a “waste of time.” He and other Republicans used the talking point that the Senate shouldn’t waste its time guaranteeing marriage rights, because it should be focusing on inflation and gas prices.
It’s a different story now. Kansas showed that voters do care about abortion rights, and will turn out to defend them. Voter registration numbers show women registering to vote in larger numbers than men in a series of battleground states. And gas prices are dropping and inflation is slowing. But Republicans are still talking about gas prices and inflation, right? Because those are the issues that voters care about?
Ha, of course not. Republicans are yelling about the criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of "highly classified materials" and the search of Mar-a-Lago for some of those documents he took when he left the White House. They’re screaming about the “weaponized” Justice Department and FBI, calling the FBI “the enemy of the people” and “Biden political thugs.”
They’re running the same plays on the IRS, too, lying about its criminal enforcement division and about Inflation Reduction Act funding for the agency. Go figure, it, too, is “weaponized.” Sen. Chuck Grassley even asked, “Are they going to have a strike force that goes in with AK-15s … ready to shoot some small business person in Iowa?”
This is not a party that thinks that gas prices and inflation are carrying them over the finish line in 82 days. It’s a party desperate for distractions, even if it has to manufacture those distractions in the form of attacks on government workers.
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