Bret: The Supreme Court, for starters. A second Trump term almost certainly means a third (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), fourth (Stephen Breyer) and possibly fifth (Clarence Thomas) Trump pick. Roe v. Wade doesn’t survive on that court. If I were Biden, I’d ask Kamala Harris to go on a swing through Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Hampshire and Wisconsin to explain that if Trump wins, legal abortion will become a thing of the past for every woman living in a red state.
Gail: Trump talks about his judicial appointments as one of his greatest accomplishments. That’s all thanks to Mitch McConnell, who refused to take up many of Barack Obama’s nominees from his first day as majority leader. I know that’s kind of inside baseball, but I wish there’d be a way to portray the president as McConnell’s Minion.
Bret: A second is ethics. Has the swamp ever been swampier than under Trump? Who elected Ivanka to rule over us? How did Jared get to lord it over us? Who turned the White House into a stage prop? Since when does the president use his office to blackmail foreign leaders into doing him political favors? Why is it that nearly everyone who has ever worked for Trump, people like John Bolton and John Kelly, finds him despicable? And did he get somebody to take his S.A.T.s for him? Biden should run a five-minute online spot titled “A Cheater From the Beginning.” Highlights would include bone spurs, (alleged!) cheating on the S.A.T.s and Marla Maples.
Gail: OK, I love that one.
Bret: Third issue: Dictator suck-up. No president in history has ever had nicer things to say about America’s enemies than Trump, just as no president has ever had nastier things to say about America’s friends. I also can imagine the imagery for this: Trump at Helsinki with Vladimir Putin, Trump at Panmunjom with Kim Jong-un, Trump in Osaka with Xi Jinping, Trump in the White House with Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
What about you? What are your three?
Gail: First, the pandemic. Biden should remind people constantly that when he was vice-president there was an office of the federal government devoted to preventing this exact kind of crisis, and that Trump dismantled it.
Bret: Agree. And that he spent weeks pretending the virus would just disappear like morning dew.
Gail: Which would lead into my No. 2 issue: health care. Trump may deny it, but his assaults on Obamacare have put coverage of pre-existing conditions in jeopardy. Biden actually wants to give people more insurance options, earlier access to Medicare and address the cost of prescription drugs, which Trump also likes to talk about.