The GOP’s Hall of Mirrors

For Republicans lost inside the Trump fun house, a message: Run on his biggest victory.

In mid-June, the country stopped what it was doing to transfix for days over the spectacle of children separated from their parents in Texas. You can argue about the policy merits, but like a curved mirror it had one effect: Everyone involved looked smaller.

Four weeks later, the news cycle pumped out days of disorienting political optics around the mysterious press conference Mr. Trump conducted after his private meeting with Vladimir Putin. A week later, Mr. Trump said he would invite Mr. Putin to Washington amid the election. Then he said he wouldn’t, until next year.

In recent days, Mr. Trump has erected more mirrors for Republicans to navigate. On Sunday, he tweeted he would shut down the government before the election. Privately, he says he won’t.

.. Steve Bannon is demanding that Republicans run on every jot or tweeted tittle in the Trump agenda. But only Donald Trump himself could run for re-election on all this stuff simultaneously. For Republican candidates in competitive races—meaning the races in which 2 or 3 percentage points in the wrong direction means they lose the election and control of the House—the way forward requires simplicity and clarity, not a thousand points of rage.

A message to Republicans lost in the Trump fun house: Run on something solid. Run on something you understand. Join yourself at the hip with the greatest accomplishment of Donald Trump’s presidency. Run on America’s booming economy. (Footnote: For put-off GOP voters who need more reason to show up, the next 30 years of the Gorsuch-Kavanaugh court was why they signed on for this ride in 2016.)