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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Conservatives must rush the cockpit in this Flight 93 Election

Who would have thought an anonymous essay writer who calls himself Publius Decius Mus may have single-handedly defined this year’s vote as the “Flight 93” election.

With yesterday having been the fifteenth anniversary of the Osama Bin Laden-inspired Islamic terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC, no doubt everyone who’s old enough to remember spent some time thinking about what that day meant and how the years since have been filled with so much turmoil.

Flight 93It’s not like there was peace and tranquility prior to 9/11. Even before the attacks happened America was still deeply divided over the results of the 2000 election. Bill Clinton’s triangulation and lurid Oval Office behavior, perjury and subsequent impeachment split us apart before that. But everything seemed to accelerate starting on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Flight 93, of course, was the one hijacked plane that didn’t make it to its target thanks to the sheer heroic deeds of passengers who wouldn’t allow themselves to go meekly to the slaughter. They weren’t about to sit by as their terrorist captors steered their plane into the White House or Capitol building (though they had no way of knowing where they were headed).

The passengers knew they would likely die even if successful in bursting into the cockpit. They did it anyway, knowing the alternative was far worse. If you’ve been to the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, it’s sobering and very sad. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

The American military does the same thing on a daily basis. They just don’t get the credit.

At any rate, some are comparing the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton this year as being similar to the passengers’ dilemma. Choose Trump and America at least has the chance, however limited, to live. Do nothing and Hillary will win and America metaphorically crashes into its target and everything is wrecked. Rush Limbaugh loved the concept.

#NeverTrump, as represented here by National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, doesn’t feel the same way. Goldberg writes, “I am the first to concede that if Hillary Clinton wins it will likely be terrible for the country. But America is larger than one election for one office in one branch in one of our many layers of government. Indeed, if it’s true that America is one election away from death, then America is already dead. Because the whole idea of this country is that most of life exists outside of the scope of government. Yes, this idea is battered and bloodied. But I fail to see how rejecting the idea — as Publius does — is the best way to save it.”

Anyone who callously dismisses the prospect that one election can bring down the republic isn’t looking clearly at the reality of what a President Crooked Hillary would mean to its institutions. Sure, it’s simple to say most of life exists outside of the scope of government, but government will become a police state sticking its proverbial baton into every aspect of our lives if Hillary is elected, because she will appoint judges that will uphold her every dictate.

And her bureaucratic appointees will follow a similar path. Get ready, EPA inspectors.

Following the example of Obama, all she needs are executive orders and a willing judiciary and bureaucracy to uphold them. Goodbye Federalism; Goodbye Separation of Powers; Goodbye First Amendment protections on religious liberty and belief; goodbye Second Amendment rights to arm ourselves; goodbye Fourth Amendment rights to protection of our persons and property from government snooping.

The list goes on and on and on…

Goldberg has proven over the years that he’s a supremely intelligent man, but this argument is far too simple – and factually incorrect – to clear him of the “You will own it” charge that will be levied at himself and the #NeverTrumpers if they continue on their present path of avoiding responsibility for their actions – or inactions.

They can talk all they want about how one election doesn’t mean the end of the world as we know it. Unfortunately by the time they’re proven wrong, it will be too late for all of us. The plane will have crashed into its target and everyone’s a goner having failed to try and break down the cockpit door when we had the chance.

GOP establishment is more optimistic about Trump but still find something to complain about

It’s hard to believe that only a month ago many conservatives and Republicans were down in the dumps about Donald Trump’s prospects to win in November. Not only were partisans in a panic about losing the presidency, they were similarly terrified about losing party majorities in the House and Senate as well.

To make matters worse, the #NeverTrumpers were already doing their victory dances even though voting was still months away. Members of the GOP establishment were floating the possibility that party rules could be used to remove Trump as the nominee and put Mike Pence in his place. There was widespread talk of pulling party monetary support for Trump and using it on other down ballot candidates.

It was bad.

Perhaps most horrible of all was the doom and gloom surrounding Trump’s chances in the so-called swing states, the 11 or so jurisdictions that are still considered competitive in 2016 (all the rest are solid red or blue). Not only was Trump down by seven or eight points in the national popular opinion polls, he was also trailing heavily in the states that mattered most.

NBC even came out with an Electoral College map that forecasted Crooked Hillary winning upwards of 350 Electoral Votes (it currently shows the Democrat with “only” 272, which includes blue leaning states). It was going to be a whitewash, they said.

Fast forward to today when the outlook seems to have completely changed. Trump has climbed to within a couple points in the Real Clear Politics Average – well within the margin of error of most polls – and even the swing states are starting to enter the realm of possibility for Trump to win.

The Republican establishment’s outlook has improved accordingly.

Steven Shepard of Politico reports that swing state Republicans are much more inclined to think Trump might win “according to The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, operatives and strategists in 11 battleground states, 10 of which President Barack Obama carried in 2012. While a majority of GOP insiders still say Clinton would carry their state if the election were held today, significantly more Republicans now say Trump would win than even just a few weeks ago.

“But despite Trump’s improving prospects, GOP insiders express little confidence in the Trump campaign’s infrastructure — particularly compared with how Democrats feel about Clinton’s campaign.”

Ah yes, the question of campaign infrastructure. That’s what the experts call the campaign offices dotting the map in different locations complete with a few staffers, lots of campaign signs, a conference room or two and whatever volunteers you can muster cooped up in the back manning phones and stuffing envelopes.

And in this modern age, maybe they’re shoring up data lists in addition. I don’t know. Some of these people are probably out walking neighborhoods or trying to register new voters. You know, the stuff campaigns do.

Ted Cruz was said to have a state-of-the-art campaign operation during the Republican primaries, complete with data micro-targeting and a motivated army of volunteers living at “Camp Cruz” in the early states. These were the people who were going to bring the Texas senator the nomination through sheer force of will and a lot of pounding the pavement.

It certainly can be argued they helped Cruz win in Iowa and come in third in ideologically unfriendly New Hampshire. But they couldn’t carry the day where there were large numbers of Trump voters.

I’m not saying it’s wise – or recommended – but Trump largely ignored the traditional elements of campaigning and still was able to pull out convincing victories all across the country in the primaries. Trump’s conservative and populist legions overwhelmed Cruz’s superior organization. As a Cruz supporter myself, there just weren’t enough of us to make up for all the anti-establishment believers who saw a hero in Donald Trump.

Now the establishment folks (in the Politico survey above) are saying basically the same things about Trump’s unlikely chances to win in the general election without boots on the ground to drum up get-out-the-vote efforts.

I’ll be the first to say Trump should invest more effort in opening and staffing local offices. But he’s also gaining in swing states without them, so maybe there isn’t so much cause for worry.

Philip Bump writes in the Washington Post, “So what's changed? In Florida, things stayed mostly the same overall, though Republicans and Democrats both moved a bit to Clinton. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, Trump gained 5 points against Clinton, bringing him into a tie with her in the Buckeye State. Trump saw big gains with nonwhite voters in Pennsylvania and with white women; white men in Florida and Ohio moved toward Trump, but white women didn't.

“Especially since we're talking about changes of 6 to 10 percentage points in demographic groups with margins of error that approach those figures, it's at best murky.”

Murky is a good word for it, especially with trends moving away from Crooked Hillary. There could still be the “hidden voter” phenomenon as well, since I’m having a hard time seeing how awful Hillary could be so heavily supported. Most of her base must be the anti-Trump voters (as opposed to people voting FOR her), but with the Republican nominee doing much better in staying on message, this contingent will certainly dwindle…some.

There are also favorable signs on the voter registration front with Republicans outpacing Democrats in several key swing states including Florida and Pennsylvania.

And how about those down ballot races? They’re starting to look favorable for Republicans as well. Harper Neidig of The Hill reports, “Republican incumbents are leading their Democratic Senate challengers in four crucial swing states, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday.

“GOP Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Pat Toomey (Pa.) all lead their opponents, in addition to outperforming the Republican at the top of the ticket, Donald Trump.”

What does it all add up to? A state of confusion, mostly. I think eventually the voters supporting Republican congressman and senators will go for Trump as well, especially with the ranks of #NeverTrump Republicans visibly thinning.

There are lots of positive signs emerging for the Republican ticket; even the establishment is acknowledging it.

Karl Rove maps out a Trump victory while Crooked Hillary insults his supporters

The stories are now legendary about how “Bush’s brain” Karl Rove dissected Ohio down to the precinct level in order to make sure the president won there in 2004. Then, of course, there was Rove’s embarrassing journey to the Fox News projection room in 2012 when he wasn’t convinced that Mitt Romney had lost the election when everyone else was sure there would be four more years of Obama.

Now apparently the occasionally reliable Rove mapped out a victory strategy for Donald Trump on Fox News on Friday evening.

Anna Giaritelli of the Washington Examiner reports Rove lectured, “’If you look at the RealClearPolitics averages of states, he's narrowly ahead today in Arizona and Georgia, states that Romney carried comfortably, and narrowly behind in North Carolina. So the first thing he's got to do is carry the 11 electoral votes in Arizona, 16 in Georgia, 15 in North Carolina. Otherwise, he's going to start off in a deficit,’ Rove told host Megyn Kelly.”

After securing the Romney states, Trump has to win in Florida, Ohio and Iowa, which are all nearly tied or show the Republican nominee with a small lead.

Giaritelli continues, “After defending Republican-leaning and toss-up states, Trump has to go after the Democrats' stronghold. Rove listed Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Hampshire as examples. Bush carried Nevada in both his elections and New Hampshire once, indicating either one may be easier than the others.”

Rove concluded by saying Trump’s the underdog but there’s a clear path.

There isn’t really anything tremendously new here, though it’s certainly time to start doing the precinct by precinct analysis necessary to put Trump over the top in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan, which would seem to be the two rust belt states with a lot of Trump’s strongest voting constituencies.

I don’t think it’s any great secret why Trump chose to make his pitch to black voters in Detroit and Philadelphia. If he can win over even a small percentage in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, Crooked Hillary is going to have a hard time overcoming her enormous deficits in the conservative hinterlands of those states to win.

Trump isn’t pandering by pursuing minority votes; it’s a smart strategy. Meanwhile, Crooked Hillary isn’t asking for votes anymore as much as she’s resorting to insulting Trump’s supporters to fire up her own brainless backers.

T. Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner reports, “Hillary Clinton claimed Friday evening that roughly half of Donald Trump's supporters are sexist, racist, homophobic bigots — a heavy charge that comes amid reports the Democratic nominee planned to move away from attacking the Republican candidate.

“’To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,’ Clinton said at a fundraiser in New York City. ‘Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.’”

In sports, I think they’d call Hillary’s remarks “bulletin board material.” In politics, it’s called stupid and inane to say such things. And the media claims Trump is the bombastic one. I’m not quite sure why this isn’t getting more play in the press.

Even Obama was a little more diplomatic in insulting conservatives and Republicans back in 2008, merely saying they just “cling to guns and religion.” Crooked Hillary is going all the way to label Trump’s people as the spawn of the devil. How do you like that?

I guess what she said isn’t all that different from what the #NeverTrumpers have been spouting all along about Trump fans.

For what it’s worth Crooked Hillary complimented the other “half” of Trump’s supporters. I wonder how she’d define the difference.

At any rate, as Karl Rove suggested, it seems clear Trump does have a path to victory and with Crooked Hillary continuing to inspire his backers by insulting them, the election could very well be moving into Trump friendly territory very soon.

Is Crooked Hillary falling apart or is she just naturally offensive?

Finally today, with Crooked Hillary’s bigoted comments about “half” of Trump supporters the other night, it’s not hard to figure she might be coming a bit unglued.

Apparently Newt Gingrich thinks so too.

Jessie Hellmann of The Hill reports, “Hillary Clinton's comments about Donald Trump's supporters are proof that she is falling apart, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said on Sunday.

“’She just made a statement in which she lumped together millions of Americans,’ Gingrich said on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ referring to Clinton's remark that ‘half’ of Trump supporters fall into a ‘basket of deplorables.’

“’Hillary is beginning to fall apart,’ said Gingrich, an adviser to Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.”

Of course “falling apart” has quite a few possible meanings. It could be her mental make-up, it could be her campaign, her life, her marriage or any number of things.

Or possibly her health. Kyle Balluck of The Hill reports, “Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton left a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York early on Sunday because she ‘felt overheated,’ her campaign said.

“’During the ceremony, she felt overheated so [she] departed to go to her daughter’s apartment, and is feeling much better,’ he said.”

When she left Chelsea’s apartment, Crooked Hillary was apparently feeling much better.

One source said Hillary was feeling faint as she entered her getaway van and her knees buckled. This video proves it. Look for yourself.

As with all of the “falling apart” speculation along with the health rumors, this latest episode is only going to fan the flames of conjecture.

With all the coughing attacks, her lack of presence on the campaign trail, her odd remarks and now her inability to stay very long at a 9/11 remembrance ceremony, it’s almost undeniable that SOMETHING is wrong with her.

In this most unusual of election cycles, the weird just keeps getting weirder.

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