The best electoral argument against Trump is no longer how he threatens rule of law, lies constantly, or imposes unnecessary cruelty on migrant families at the border. It’s “weren’t you better off four years ago? Wouldn’t you like that back?”
That’s not totally fair, of course. Much of the pandemic is out of anyone’s control; many countries are suffering. But much of the economic success of Trump’s first three years wasn’t his doing either, and that didn’t stop the president and his allies from saying it was. Politics ain’t fair.
I don’t know exactly how the pandemic will go between now and November, but it’s safe to say it’ll be with us, in one form or another. States are reopening, but with ongoing worries keeping people from restaurants, bars, airports, hotels, and arenas, there’s no way the economy completely snaps back. Cases, deaths, testing, treatments, vaccines, economic problems, and comparisons between countries will be in the news, complicating Trump’s ability to, as Steve Bannon put it, “flood the zone with shit.”
He’s still trying, of course. The president is spreading conspiracy theories about Obama. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) plans to hold hearings about the origins of the Russia investigation.