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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Media war against Donald Trump has backlash written all over it

As we bring to a close another week in this most fascinating of all presidential races, Donald Trump has announced his intention to sue the New York Times.

It seems that the Times, otherwise known as the chief mouthpiece for the Democrat Party, saw fit to publish a front page story featuring the claims of two women who maintain Trump touched them inappropriately. As was the case with the now infamous audio tape and the controversy over disgraced beauty queen Alicia Machado, Trump Clinton debatethe incidents in question occurred long ago.

The action is hardly unexpected from a leftist rag like the Times, but it’s still disturbing. Somehow I think we all anticipated that this type of all-out character assassination to aid the Democrats was coming at some point but couldn’t believe it would ever actually get this bad. The media has once again gone way overboard.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reports, “Donald Trump's campaign was drafting a defamation lawsuit against the New York Times late Wednesday night, hours after the news organization published a story in which two women accused the Republican presidential nominee of sexual assault, sources confirmed to the Washington Examiner.

“Within hours of threatening to take legal action against the major publication for launching a ‘completely false, coordinated character assassination against’ him, Trump had requested that his attorneys draft a major lawsuit against the Times.”

Before you say this is yet another Trump overreaction, consider many of us would argue it’s about time someone fought back. This “Trump groped me” leftist smear-job from the Times isn’t much different in kind than the same newspaper’s slime piece from eight years ago insinuating that John McCain was having an affair with a lobbyist based on circumstantial information and questionable sources. Or consider the accusations made by the Washington Post in 2012 against Mitt Romney stemming from school hazing incidents that had taken place half a century before.

In the Times story, two Hillary Clinton supporters came forward – less than four weeks before the election – to allege Trump made improper advances on them. They apparently were driven to do it now (and not before) because of Trump’s denial in Sunday night’s debate that he had ever inappropriately touched any woman.

I’m guessing the Clinton sleaze operation has dozens of potential Trump “victims” lined-up and will call them to the forefront when they’re needed, truth be damned. It’s almost like a baseball manager keeping certain players in reserve should the situation call for them late in a game.

The Clinton campaign reaction was classic. Morrongiello reports in a different article, “’This disturbing story sadly fits everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women,’ Clinton's communications director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement released by the campaign.

“’These reports suggest that he lied on the debate stage and that the disgusting behavior he bragged about in the tape are more than just words,’ she added.”

Hmmm…the Clinton campaign is talking about a man lying about his exploits with women, including improper touching and sexual advances. Nobody better ask Bill Clinton what he thinks on this subject – it could be truly embarrassing. Is that why Bill isn’t doing any interviews these days, just speeches at rallies?

Is it worse to be an accused rapist or an alleged sexual assault-ist?

In all of this, I can’t help but conclude that the Democrats and the media think we’re stupid. Yes, stupid. They expect the American public to swallow the “Trump is a lying misogynist” line – again and again -- when the man behind their own sullied curtain set the standard for womanizing, cigar popping, blue dress staining, sexually abusing creeps.

Further, we actually have evidence that Bill Clinton did such things along with sworn testimony from dozens of women stemming from the multitudes of lawsuits and criminal investigations that the Clintons have been involved in.

Yet now we have a couple admitted Hillary Clinton supporters come forward and the press trots before the public unsubstantiated allegations and thinks everyone should automatically believe it.

It’s never been clearer that the powerful establishment alliance in this country between big business, the media and Washington politicians is in full panic mode over Donald Trump. I fully expect they’ll continue scouring the depths for any former Trump associates who might be willing to put their names in the public sphere in order to taint his reputation and provoke the gullible to vote the Hillary.

As I’ve been saying a lot lately, what has any of this got to do with the issues?

It’s funny how the Democrats are so upset that the Russians might be trying to influence the election by releasing authentic copies of Democrat correspondence but they don’t care in the slightest about how about their pals in the major media are doing the same thing on a daily basis (influence the election that is).

I can’t help but surmise there could be a cumulative boomerang effect of this defamation drivel – Alicia Machado, the Trump/Billy Bush audio tape, groping accusations, allegations that Trump walked into a teen beauty pageant dressing room…the list goes on and on. The public is going to start tuning it out and possibly even rebel against what the media is trying to do in bringing down Trump.

There’s already some evidence that a backlash is happening. Despite the waves of negativity that Trump has endured the past few weeks, he remains tied in one major poll, the LA Times/USC survey.

And after Sunday night’s debate, Trump’s even regained the lead in another reliable opinion survey. From Rasmussen Reports, “The full results from Sunday night’s debate are in, and Donald Trump has come from behind to take the lead over Hillary Clinton.

“The latest Rasmussen Reports White House Watch national telephone and online survey shows Trump with 43% support among Likely U.S. Voters to Clinton’s 41%. Yesterday, Clinton still held a four-point 43% to 39% lead over Trump, but that was down from five points on Tuesday and her biggest lead ever of seven points on Monday.”

You heard that right. This poll was taken after the debate and after the Trump audio tape and still shows Trump with a lead. Trump also has a 49% to 46% advantage among the 84% of people who said they’re certain on who they will vote for this election.

I would be remiss to completely dismiss the other polls which give Clinton a big lead (the Real Clear Politics average now has her up over six points), but I think the main conclusion to be gathered from these post-debate surveys is that Trump still has traction.

It also could be that Clinton has peaked a little less than four weeks before the election. The Democrats no doubt have more sleaze up their sleeves, but if they can’t permanently scare off Trump or his supporters with the audio tape or these other (forgive the pun) trumped-up allegations, then it isn’t likely they’ll be able to do more damage as Election Day nears.

And it appears that voters are taking well to Trump’s renewed attacks on the establishment and status quo.

Meanwhile, the “unshackled” Trump can continue to hit Clinton hard on her emails and her pathetic record while also championing the “forgotten Americans” that make up his base.

I still believe late deciders will go heavily in Trump’s favor.

This race isn’t over, folks.

So-called “conservatives” bash Jeff Sessions for supporting Trump

In their sorry pursuit of Donald Trump, the formerly reputable bunch at RedState have joined liberal rags like the New York Times in trying to take down the candidate and his supporters.

This time they’re going after Senator Jeff Sessions for refusing to give in to the media’s narrative about what Trump said and sexual assault.

#NeverTrumper Caleb Howe writes in his latest absurd screed, “Sessions and Trump are giving truth to the leftist, feminist, radical anti-Republican agenda, and bolstering the (we thought) overblown claims of a ‘War on Women’ by acting exactly as despicably as the caricature such groups have created. They hurt all other Republicans with their actions. Especially Sessions, who at least had some credibility before now.

“This was not a hard question. It was easy. He should have answered it correctly. Truthfully. Instead he answered it like a lunatic who will say anything to pimp his loser candidate. That's not integrity, and it's not legal expertise, and it's not good judgment. He should have those qualities to be on the [Senate Judiciary] committee. Since he doesn't have those qualities ...

“Kick Sessions out. Do it now.”

The question Howe was referring to came during an interview Sessions gave to the Anti-Trump Weekly Standard on the nominee’s audio tape comments.

Howe’s analysis goes beyond pathetic. It’s just sad. I’ve been saying that a lot lately. Sad.

It’s sad to see a publication like RedState has become so bogged down in its Trump hatred that they can’t see this media smear job for what it is. In 2016 it’s Donald Trump the media is after, who just happens to be an easy target because he’s been in the public eye for about four decades and as a celebrity has said volumes worth of controversial things.

It’s sad that blind hatred has led Howe and his writers to fail to recognize the difference between “The Donald” the over-the-top celebrity and Donald Trump the successful businessman and first-time politician.

There’s a reason why Trump won the nomination. He connects well with the people, you know, the ones George Bailey (in It’s a Wonderful Life) said “[T]his rabble you're talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.”

The “rabble” likes Trump a lot more than they favor the establishment and their newest friends, the editorial staffs at RedState, The Resurgent, several at National Review and The Weekly Standard. These publications have sold out to the establishment. I’d bet their readership is down considerably. In a month, they could be out of a job.

It’s sad when Howe and his kind can’t recognize the writing on the wall, that this is all one big sell-job to try and convince people to elect Hillary Clinton. One way or another, I hope they’re happy with how it ends up on November 8.

Reexamining the reasons why Donald Trump won the GOP nomination

While it’s now much too late to change the outcome it’s not too early to take a look back at the Republican presidential primaries to try and determine what gave rise to the Trump phenomenon in the first place.

There’s little doubt Trump benefitted from the large field of candidates, a circumstance that some argue should be substantially curtailed in the future.

For example, The Buckley Club blog founder Jay Cobb writes in National Review, “One necessary fix is limiting the debates so that there’s less incentive to run just to get on TV. The GOP could either restrict who gets in the debates or could hold off on holding any debates until just a few weeks before the primary vote is held. And there should not be any ‘undercard’ debates. Some might complain that this will make it hard for lesser-known candidates to raise their profile, but this is the objective. The election should not be about raising candidates’ profiles.

“We could also follow the example of Britain’s Conservative party. Members of parliament narrow down the selection to the top two, who then face all the party members (the portion of the general public that has self-identified as Conservative). Modifying this somewhat would allow governors, senators, and representatives to narrow down the candidates to the top three or four who could then compete in the primaries. Alternatively, we could simply require a minimum number of endorsements, which would limit the field. This might even bar the next Trump from running in the first place.”

Cobb’s analysis prior to his recommendations isn’t any closer to reality than his conclusions. For example, Cobb says Ted Cruz only made it as far as he did by sticking close to Trump through the early months and would have ended up more like Rand Paul – invisible – if he hadn’t.

Cobb also indicated that if he had played his cards right Marco Rubio would have ended up the winner. Cobb’s is basically a really comfy, cozy feel-good exploration of the subject that completely ignores the reality of what actually happened in the race and the conditions that gave rise to Trump in the first place.

It was abundantly clear early on that 2016, at least in the Republican primaries, was going to be a flat-out rejection of the party establishment. Marco Rubio was correctly recognized by the voters as one of the establishment candidates. If Trump hadn’t won, Ted Cruz would have filled the void, not Rubio.

The establishment candidates combined never garnered more than about a third of the GOP primary electorate support. Eliminating Trump wouldn’t change that fact. Most of his voters would have gone to Cruz.

As far as Cobb’s suggestions (above) for avoiding the next Trump, they’re no more worthy than his analysis of the primary results. To limit the number of debates or candidates would only serve to nominate whomever the party establishment wanted, not the voters.

As the primary season rolled on it became increasingly evident that Trump would prevail, even if the race had narrowed to a one-on-one with Cruz. I believe if the race had narrowed to a one-on-one with Cruz after March 1 (Super Tuesday), the Texas senator would have had a decent shot to knock him off.

But it didn’t happen that way. Rubio and Kasich stayed in, Trump won more states and the rest is history.

In the end, the voters got the candidate they wanted. All the future rules changes and analysis in hindsight isn’t going to change that fact one bit.

How are the potential 2020 Republicans “seeing” the Trump candidacy now?

Finally today, as long as we just took a look back at the 2016 Republican nomination race it couldn’t hurt to glimpse into the future to see how potential 2020 GOP candidates are dealing with the Trump candidacy now.

Jordain Carney and Jessie Hellmann of The Hill report, “[T] the question of how close Republicans should stick to Trump in the final stretch of the tumultuous 2016 campaign is dividing potential 2020 candidates.

“Some have pulled their support or called for Trump to cede his spot to his running mate, Mike Pence, as they try to distance themselves from their nominee. Others are standing by Trump and hoping to curry favor with his legion of supporters, whose support they’ll need to win a future GOP primary.”

This is all fun speculation, but we still don’t know who is going to win next month’s election much less who is planning to run in 2020. If Trump wins the presidency, all bets are off. I’m guessing he’ll run for a second term and would be the heavy favorite to retain the nomination if that’s the case…but with Trump, you never know about anything.

As for the rest, the Hill reporters mention the usual suspects – Mike Pence, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Tom Cotton, Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Ben Sasse.

I would also guess we’ll see some more “outsider” type candidates who would hope to pull off another Trump-like victory.

After taking into account the events of the past several months, I would bet Mike Pence would start off a hypothetical 2020 race as the heavy favorite, almost like an incumbent. My own personal favorite, Ted Cruz, would have a lot of work to do in the coming years to try and expand his base beyond Tea Partiers and evangelicals. Now that Ted came to his senses and endorsed Trump I think Cruz still has a bright future on the national scene, though he might have to wait awhile. 2020 might not be his year.

Whether there will be much of a country left to lead will depend on the outcome a few weeks from now. If Hillary wins, who knows what the conditions will look like in a few years. Simply put, it could be really, really bad.

I hope we’ll be able to put off talk about 2020 until the time is ripe. For now, we need to elect Donald Trump. Then it would be the Democrats talking about their next move in 2020.

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Least Bad President

In the end, the voters got the candidate they wanted.

Roughly 35 percent of Republican voters got the candidate they wanted. Roughly 65 percent got the candidate they did NOT want. And, they got vulgar, scabrous, narcissistic Trump.

So now, for the general election, Trump is the least bad option. When Trump is President, powerful political forces (Democrats, the media, and Republicans) will effectively maintain pressure on him, to hold him in check, including the possibility of impeachment. With Clinton, that would be an unrealistic expectation. The media and Democrats would enable her misdeeds. And the Republicans would cower in fear, since she is a woman, no matter how horrible a person.

For now, the American people need Trump to be their President, so they can make America great again, by recovering some sense of constitutional rule of law with checks and balances on a much less consequential executive branch.

The Donald prevailed in the primaries due to Operation Chaos

Rush touted it 8 years ago, and open/hybrid contests diluted conservatives.