As the November midterms approach, look for Republicans this week to ramp up their case against President Barack Obama and the Democrats' competence in running the federal government, citing recent failures at the Secret Service, weak intelligence on ISIS and the entry of the deadly Ebola virus into the United States.
The renewed effort to paint the White House as bumbling on issues that worry many Americans began last week as Republicans including Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, questioned why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not moved faster to increase testing of airline passengers coming from Ebola-stricken countries including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Many Republicans—and conservative media outlets—are also now hitting the president for thus far refusing to block flights to the U.S. from those nations, something some European countries have done.
There are good arguments for why the U.S. will not ban such flights, including that most passengers arriving in the U.S. from West Africa do so via European capitals. The Dallas Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, arrived via Brussels. There are also concerns about blocking the flow of aid workers to and from the hard hit African nations.
But those arguments are nuanced and hard to make against the real fear among Americans about the possible spread of a disease that has no cure and a 50 percent kill rate.
And Republicans are not making the case on Ebola alone but looking to package the issue along with the recent revelations of massive Secret Service failures, including the deep penetration of the White House by a knife-wielding maniac. They argue that the administration—and by extension the Democratic Party—cannot manage the government.