The Republican Party is once again bereft of popular policy positions as the 2022 midterms near, which means their electoral strategy once again revolves around pushing the idea that Democrats are out to destroy America. Bill Clinton pointed this out on Sunday. “Republicans always close well. Why?” the former president told CNN. “Because they find some new way to scare the living daylights out of swing voters.”
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel took issue with Clinton’s comments during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, defending the GOP by launching into the exact type of fear mongering Clinton was describing. “You’re scaring voters everywhere with the open border,” she said of Democrats. “I mean, just last month, 2,000 pounds of fentanyl came across our border. That could kill 500 million people. We’re coming into Halloween and every mom in the country is worried, ‘What if this gets into my kid’s Halloween basket?'”
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RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel criticizes President Clinton for accusing Republicans of fear mongering and then promptly goes on to fear monger about fentanyl:
"Every mom in the country right now is worried, 'What if this gets into my kids' Halloween basket?'" pic.twitter.com/PO8K8kDOyY
— The Recount (@therecount) September 20, 2022
McDaniel then cites “rainbow fentanyl,” which Customs and Border Protection has said could be a way to target children. The only problem is there’s no actual evidence of this. The most likely explanation, as Vice News recently laid out, is that dealers have been coloring their product to distinguish it from their competitors, not to lure young children, which doesn’t make sense economically.
McDaniel’s suggestion that candy-colored fentanyl is going to show up in your kids Halloween candy — if not wipe out the entire population of country — is ludicrous, of course. It’s also at the core of the GOP’s strategy ahead of the midterms. Abortion is clearly not a winner for the party, nor are most of its other policy positions, so they’ve reverted to immigration. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last week flew dozens of desperate migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in one of the cruelest PR stunts in recent memory, Trump on Saturday raised the specter of “an invasion by millions of illegal aliens” during a rally in Ohio, and McDaniel and the party’s rank-and-file lawmakers have hit the airwaves to drum up fear about drugs and crime. “President Biden will let any illiterate gang banger, oftentimes with drugs, come right on in,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said on Tuesday.
"President Biden will let any illiterate gang banger, oftentimes with drugs, come right on it" — Sen. John Kennedy pic.twitter.com/QVCLfYkil9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 20, 2022
McDaniel also claimed on Tuesday that an administrator died simply by “opening” fentanyl that was brought to a school in California, a story House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told on Fox News last week, and which has been widely debunked by the medical community. “Every parent right now is scared to death about this fentanyl,” McDaniel claimed.
Fentanyl has also been on the minds of Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), as Aaron Rupar of Public Notice pointed out recently.
“From June to July, fentanyl seizures were up 203% at the southern border,” Blackburn tweeted last month. “Biden’s open border is crippling your community.”
“Enough fentanyl to completely wipe-out entire cities in the U.S. has been seized at the Southern border,” Ernst wrote a few weeks later.
The fentanyl Blackburn and Ernst are tweeting about was seized, which means it didn’t make it into the country — but that’s irrelevant. The tweets illustrate the point of all of this, which is to paint President Biden as a crime-loving enemy of the United States that wants your children to die. It’s drumming up fear for the sake of scaring people. It’s all the Republican Party has.
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