Segments like this one on this Sunday's Inside Politics, where our corporate media continually insists Republicans should be able to run on the economy if Trump would just stop distracting everyone with his Tweets are far too common.
John King and his political panel, The Washington Post's Karoun Demirjian, CNN's Maeve Reston, The New York Times' Michael Shear, and Bloomberg's Toluse Olorunnipa, were asked about Trump's latest rant at a rally earlier this week, where he did his best to scare the crowd about the possibility of impeachment if the Democrats take control of Congress.
This response from Reston was typical of the reaction from the panel:
KING: I get it! I get it! It's not what Republicans want to talk about out on the campaign trail but you can understand, especially in this week and everything that has happened this week. Let's get into what I'll call the Trump paradox. Unemployment is under 4 percent, and yet, and yet Republicans think, you know, they might lose the House, and it's possible, they could lose the Senate it's possible. First year midterms always a referendum on the president but why?
RESTON: How do you get through that bullhorn of distraction to actually talk about those things? You know, traveling around the country, it's interesting because people do bring up that they are seeing, you know, a small increase in their paycheck because of taxes, they are feeling better about the economy. It's such a shift. It took so long to get over that fear from 2008.
But, you know, all of the people in his administration and his Republican colleagues who are trying to make that message just can't breakthrough crazy town and everything else to really talk about that and, you know, give him the credit that he wants.
KING: And, the president who blames the media for him not getting enough credit, contributes to just what you are talking about.
Sadly, the fact (as the Bloomberg reporter Toluse Olorunnipa wrote about just a couple of weeks ago) that most American's are making less money despite Trump's promises, did not come up during this panel discussion, nor did the big elephant in the room, that they want to pay for their giant tax cuts for the rich with cuts to our social safety nets.
Only at the very end of the show was that mentioned by Olorunnipa, who also discussed their latest cynical move to campaign on wanting to save Medicare and Social Security, when the opposite is true.
Here's more on that from Ed Kilgore: GOP’s Latest Mediscare Tactic Is Deeply Cynical:
Republicans have a built-in contradiction at the core of their politics, and they’re not likely to resolve it anytime soon. On the one hand, they really, really want to do something to reduce the cost and scope of the big middle-class “entitlement” programs, Social Security and Medicare — if only to generate more dollars for tax cuts and defense. It’s why their chief fiscal engineer, Paul Ryan, was an early supporter of Social Security partial privatization, and included a Medicare overhaul (replacing defined benefits with “premium support,” or vouchers) in all those Ryan budgets. But Republicans are also afraid to go after these programs because (aside from the fact that they are wildly popular) the chief beneficiaries are seniors, who are the most pro-GOP age group (in part because over-65 voters are whiter than younger age cohorts).
This is why Republicans desperately want bipartisan cover for “entitlement reform” (it was the foundation for all those Grand Bargain negotiations with Barack Obama not that long ago). And it’s also why whenever they can’t get Medicare cuts, they’ll turn on a dime and pose as the stout defenders of the program against Democratic efforts to raid it to give health-care benefits to other people. That’s exactly what we are seeing in new attacks by Donald Trump and Rick Scott, among others, on Medicare for All as a threat to — Medicare!
Here’s Trump on the stump trying this out:
And here’s Scott — whose political career has been financed by a golden parachute from a hospital chain forced to pay the federal government billions for Medicare fraud — running for the Senate in senior-heavy Florida:
This is only marginally more cynical and audacious than previous Republican efforts to claim that Obamacare was a threat to Medicare. Read on....
This is what we get to look forward to for the midterms this year and it will work with a large portion of the electorate as long as their lies are allowed to go unchecked, or worse yet, repeated by the media.