It Might Get Loud

(Photograph from Getty Images.)

The midterms feel like an anticlimax.

That’s a strange thing to say at a moment when the out-party is poised to clean up, I know, since the out-party cleaning up is what always happens in modern American midterm campaigns. The president’s party huffs and puffs about everything they’ve accomplished; they fall behind in the polls in the home stretch and panic; in desperation, they resort to kitchen-sinking the opposition with every line of attack they can think of; then they watch helplessly as they lose 30-plus House seats.

That’s not an anticlimax. It’s a climax. It’s S.O.P.

We’re deep into the third “flop sweat” phase of the dynamic I just described. On Wednesday morning, White House chief of staff Ron Klain took to grumbling about Republican plans to reform entitlements, a critique that’s gotten short shrift from Democratic candidates for most of the campaign. Hours later, news broke that the president would deliver a previously unscheduled speech warning of “the threat of election deniers and those who seek to undermine faith in voting and democracy” on Wednesday evening. After months of all-abortion-all-the-time messaging, flailing Democrats are reaching at the eleventh hour for any weapon to hand. It won’t save them. It never does.

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