Neither of this week’s attacks will affect the midterms

Neither of this week’s attacks will affect the midterms, by Michael Goodwin.

Whom can we blame? How will it play in November?

For the second time in a week, those were the crass calculations running through the minds of the political class. First it was the pipe bombs and now it is the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

In both cases, the instant assumption was that the allegiance of the perpetrator would determine which side would be punished in the midterms and which side would reap the benefits of sympathy.

If this sounds heartless and ghoulish, welcome to America. The politicization of everything is exacting a terrible price on our country, with no crime or tragedy too heinous to exploit. …

I’m not convinced the bomb suspect’s support for Trump will swing the election or that the synagogue attack helps Democrats.

Here are three main reasons for my doubts.

First, neither suspect was a solid citizen who suddenly turned to violence because of politics. … Just as most Americans did not blame Bernie Sanders when one of his supporters shot Republican Congressman Steve Scalise in a planned assassination attempt last year, most are more likely to believe Sayoc and Bowers are responsible for their own actions.

Second, the speed of events these days means no one storyline dominates for long, even in the anti-Trump-obsessed media. …

The economy is the third reason for my doubts that last week will dramatically reshape the election. Most Americans in the workforce today have never seen anything like the jobs boom and the rising incomes that go with historic low unemployment.

To most voters, kitchen-table issues almost always outweigh headline-grabbing incidents, even horrible ones, a fact often lost on elite bubble dwellers. The media especially continue to fall hard for the illusion that the public trusts them to decide what matters most.

In short, I’m having that déjà vu feeling all over again. Much as they were in 2016, too many know-it-alls are 100 percent certain about which way the wind will blow on Nov. 6. The skeptic in me suspects they still are confusing facts with their own bias.