The messaging ground is shifting ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The GOP plan is simple. They want to use inflation, gas prices, and grocery prices to fuel anger, and then toss in culture war issues to fire up their base. The Democrats want to run on their accomplishments, explain away inflation and gas prices, and run on social issues such as voting rights, abortion, and gun rights.

But that won’t work anymore. The Democrats keep waiting for the actions they’re taking to bring down gas prices, and start inflation on a downward trend. The Saudis’ are punishing Biden for threatening to turn them into pariahs over the Khashoggi murder, and because they’re closer aligned to the Russians than to the west. Oil companies are price gouging, and retail prices show no indication of declining without a recession. Running on the economy, and the Democrats efforts to fix it is a loser.

But there are other issues out there that are about to blow the lid off, and the Democrats have a secret weapon. Their secret weapon is the simple fact that Joe Biden is the President of the United States. And with that comes the ultimate cudgel, The Bully Pulpit. And Biden can shape and control the news cycle with nothing more than a speech, or some carefully timed remarks.

Sometime later this month, the Supreme Court is going to come out and officially overturn Roe v Wade. And all hell is going to break loose. And that is an issue that is right in the wheelhouse of the Democrats. They can point to the fact that the House Democrats passed legislation codifying Roe v Wade into law, only to have the GOP Senate obstruct them. They can demand more Democrats, especially in the Senate to make things right.

Personally, I am self satisfied to see residents of Uvalda, as well as other Texas residents, seriously beginning to give some serious shit to the Texas officials trying to bury under the woodpile the circumstances leading up to, and culminating in, the slaughter of 19 school children and two teachers. Maybe well protected pols like Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott may be insulated by bureaucracy, but second rate pols like the local District Attorney, and third rate pols like the Uvalde School Superintendent, and Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo are about to find themselves on a very lonely limb.

This is what the Democrats must uniformly concentrate on, along with abortion. Even if Chris Murphy manages to push through a gun control legislation bill, it will be weak and watered down. And right now, sentiment is white hot on this issue. David Hogg and his March For Our Lives group are mobilized nationally. Hogg is rightfully proud to point out that after the MSD high school shooting, and the student activism, more GOP incumbents with A or A+ NRA ratings were voted out than any time in history. And they’re looking for more.

Look, let’s be honest. There’s going to be at least one, if not more mass shootings, possibly involving a school before election day.
Biden doesn’t have to wait for another gut wrenching trip to meet with survivors in order to keep the gun control debate front and center. He can keep hammering away at an assault weapons ban, a ban of expanded clips, and universal background checks, including gun shows and over the fence sales.

He can hammer away at passing the George Floyd Crime Bill, the threat of the stripping of state voting rights, and the restoration of reproductive rights in this country. But it is Biden who has the biggest megaphone in the country to shape the messaging.

The Democrats are paddling upstream in 2022. But they might just have the biggest oar in that struggle, if only they get their shit together and use it. If Biden pushes the strongest Democratic issues in every public appearance, then he will shape the public narrative and the media news cycle. And give the Democrats their best shot at maintaining power in January of 2023.


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