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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Trump’s control of post-Orlando narrative rankles establishment

Donald Trump didn’t start the fire; he merely stoked it and made it burn hotter.

Every time there’s an event like what just happened in Orlando over the weekend, it’s strangely fascinating to see how people react to such jarring news. Hawkish patriots see an attack on American soil as a call to arms, while dovish pacifists try to explain away the reasons why the killer did what he did in futile yearning for a Donald Trumppeace that’s already been shattered.

And the Democrats (who could also fit into the dovish pacifist category) find any rationale other than blaming one of their favored constituencies for the tragedy.

Take the Trayvon Martin shooting from a few years ago. Conservatives did not rush to justice but said the evidence indicated it looked a lot like a case of self-defense. Liberals sided with the black victim because…well, he’s black. And he was killed with a gun. Facts tossed out the window, the outcome of the criminal prosecution was already preordained in their minds.

So something like Orlando occurs and we already know how certain people will react. But in this critical presidential election year, what we probably could not have anticipated was the amount of criticism the Republican nominee is receiving from his own party members.

Kyle Cheney and Bresnahan of Politico report, “Donald Trump’s combative anti-terrorism speech Monday flouted the typical post-tragedy script and left Republican insiders fretting that the business mogul is unprepared to play a crucial presidential role: national healer…

“It was the latest display of the party's conundrum of how to deal with their unpredictable standard-bearer whose views they often don't share. Many Republicans appeared downright fatigued by the almost daily exercise of Trump saying something provocative or worse, and them having to answer questions about it.”

From the sound of Cheney and Bresnahan’s very liberal slanting story, many Republicans are almost apologetic in discussing Trump’s tough stance on immigration and terrorism. As if their “moderate” measured tone is going to win them the votes of the pacifist crowd. Please.

Speaker Paul Ryan is one of the most unpopular politicians in America today precisely because he does not take a firm, pro-America stand on self-evident black-and-white issues.

Terrorism is bad. Protecting lives is good. What’s so hard about saying so?

It’s gotten to the point in America where people apparently know what they want – national security – but some/many aren’t willing to do what it takes to achieve it. That’s why Trump “scares” people the way he does, because The Donald actually articulates what perhaps a majority feel in their hearts but are unwilling to admit publicly.

These fence-sitters want what they want – again, security – but they also desire to keep their politically correct niceties along with it. They long to return to the days before 9/11 when they could cling to the warm and fuzzy notion that Islam is a “peaceful religion” and the conflict between the various factions of the Middle East was safely confined half a world away.

All those meetings at Camp David between the presidents and leaders of Egypt and Israel made for some “historic” news media coverage and lots of photo opportunities. Then the Marines were blown up in Beirut, but that’s still “over there”. The West Bank was occupied by Israel, there were rockets in the Gaza Strip, Shia battled Sunni, Iran and Iraq fought a sectarian war…all on TV.

Now America is confronted with that perpetual conflict’s reality right on our front doorstep. I myself grew up about an hour’s drive from San Bernardino. When those Muslim radicals shot up a bunch of California folks last December, suddenly the conflict didn’t seem very far away at all.

Perhaps Americans are now getting a little taste of what the Israelis live with on a daily basis. Only the Israeli leadership isn’t nearly so squeamish about combating their terrorists.

At any rate, Donald Trump isn’t about to let this matter go gently into that good night. He not only wants to rock the boat on immigration and terrorism, he wants to capsize the whole ship.

The problem Obama, Hillary and the waffling Republicans have with Trump is they want desperately to cling to the “peaceful” notion but Trump won’t allow them. Instead, Obama and Hillary blame guns and kooks for the occurrences. They’re willing to let in millions more Muslims with some naïve belief that maybe, just maybe, this won’t happen again.

And it looks good for them to go on the news and call for tolerance and forgiveness. Spare me.

It’s come down to a matter of choosing sides for everyone. Either you’re for the pragmatic Trump solution of staunching the flow of cultural genocide or you’re in the Obama/Hillary/wishy-washy Republican Kumbaya camp of let’s all hold hands in a gun free zone and blame the police for failure to catch a nutcase before an attack happens.

Ben Franklin once famously said, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” In this case, the “freedom” is the freedom from fear and security is political correctness.

Instead of doing what’s right and supporting Trump’s tough stance in the process the wishy-washy Republicans and #NeverTrumpers critical of The Donald are worried about their own political behinds in saying Trump will kill the party’s down-ballot chances.

Lastly on this topic, we also need to deal with the Islamic problem here, not overseas. The neoconservatives still long for the days of American troops keeping the peace in far off lands while enjoying domestic tranquility at home. But the best of our troops went door to door in places like Fallujah and there are still terrorists there.

The conflict is here, not there. The Islamic mindset must be defeated because we can’t stop enough beating hearts to ever completely quell the beast. We must either stamp it out here or prevent it from coming here. Or both.

You can’t have it both ways, Democrats and #NeverTrumpers. That’s why this election is going to be about the choice between Trump and Hillary. Trump is setting the narrative on what to talk about and when, controlling the media along the way.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats are used to this kind of dominance from a Republican nominee…but they’d better start getting used to it.

Could Trump be earning respect from the LGBT community for his anti-terror stance?

The media would like Americans to believe Donald Trump’s post-Orlando remarks and speech were universally rejected by the public, but that’s far from true.

Trump has his usual fervent defenders (like the entire Fox News lineup and radio host Michael Savage), but he’s also getting kudos from some sources you wouldn’t normally expect.

Red Alert Politics reports at the Washington Examiner, “The horror of Sunday's terrorist attack in Orlando at a gay nightclub has sent shockwaves throughout the LGBT community and forced many to change their support from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.

“On Reddit, a gay man who lost a friend in the terror attack at Pulse said that he was never more ready to see Trump take office and wanted to volunteer for the billionaire's campaign.”

Granted, these are only a few isolated cases, but the Democrats’ canned reaction is bound to infuriate any members of the community who might have been persuadable in the first place. Isn’t it more than a little bit ironic Trump is convincing some gay men to support him now but #NeverTrumpers still aren’t budging?

Democrats and #NeverTrumpers will be gleeful that Hillary appears to be pulling away again in national surveys, such as this one that shows Clinton with a seven-point lead. But these polls were taken pre-Orlando and during the height of the Trump “Mexican judge” flap.

I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing nobody cares about that anymore.

Clinton was also no doubt enjoying a brief “honeymoon” period after clinching the Democrat nomination, similar to the one Trump experienced for much of last month.

Only now, with the country’s attention back to thinking about terrorism and national security, Hillary’s awful record on Benghazi and other foreign policy foibles during her tenure at the State Department will get a lot more play.

And let’s not ignore those emails. Donald Trump won’t allow the public to forget. He’s now laser-focused on issues of consequence in the election. The Mexican judge episode is forgotten, if only temporarily.

The best thing Trump can do now is continue placing America’s security at the forefront of his campaign. If he can manage to do this, he’s got a great shot to win in November.

Former Romney backer will seed independent run…if they find a candidate

A couple weeks ago when National Review writer David French announced he wouldn’t be running for president, he indicated there were donors willing to take care of potential ballot-access problems should a different candidate (other than himself) emerge.

Well, it turns out French was right, as a former ally of Mitt Romney has come forth pledging to put up the necessary funds to get a third-party dreamer on state ballots should someone be brave/stupid enough to agree to run.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reports, “The executive producer of the 2014 Netflix documentary ‘Mitt,’ about former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, has vowed to fund a new ballot-access project aimed at luring a third-party candidate into challenging Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“John Kingston, a deep-pocketed conservative donor from Massachusetts, unveiled the Better for America project on Tuesday. The independent group bills itself as a ‘gathering place’ for Americans who are dissatisfied with the presidential nominees of both major political parties.”

The numbers in that “dissatisfied with the nominees” group must be dwindling by the day as most people with any common sense long ago realized it’s now Trump versus Clinton – and there’s not going to be anyone else.

It just goes to show there are people out there with enough money to waste on a lark that they’d even be willing to throw it away on a doomed-from-the-beginning independent candidacy.

What’s wrong with these people, don’t they like Gary Johnson?

This “Better for America” group must’ve been shocked when the Orlando attack took place, because the country’s new focus on terrorism takes away what little interest there was in the first place for a phantom alternative candidacy. Even if you don’t like Trump and Clinton now, are you really going to take a chance on a candidate no one’s ever heard of?

“The group believes such a candidate will emerge once it's been proved they can get on the ballot in most states and have a viable path to securing the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency,” Morrongiello added.

If they’re so convinced someone is waiting in the wings, why haven’t we heard about it? Americans already have one “outsider” and one establishment candidate. What niche would the independent candidate fill?

Some people just have too much time on their hands...

Obama takes the bait, hits back at Trump

Finally today, the best thing that could happen to Donald Trump’s campaign would be to get into a high-profile spitting match with Barack Obama.

Well, it looks like Trump may have gotten one.

Jesse Byrnes of The Hill reports, “President Obama lashed out at Donald Trump on Tuesday, criticizing his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States and his attacks on the White House's handling of the war on terror…

“Obama spoke most passionately — and directed pointed comments toward the presumptive GOP presidential nominee — when discussing the efforts to stop terrorism by law enforcement officials at all levels of government. He said those people knew whom they were fighting against regardless of the name.”

There are a few things at play here. First, Obama knows his legacy is at stake and looking weak on battling terrorism – which he is – threatens how history will judge him decades from now.

Second, Obama has always had a razor-thin skin and can’t resist the urge to get into it with Trump. His innate arrogant liberal superiority won’t allow him to take the high road. Obama has nothing but contempt for conservatives and Trump and now he’s letting it show.

Lastly, Obama knows if Trump does manage to win November’s election, he will spend years picking apart Obama’s decisions (and prosecuting his cronies) and dismantling his big government programs. All those dreams of complete control over the lives and minds of Americans will have been forever lost.

Expect Obama to keep up the fight and even make it personal. It will only serve to highlight the choice between Trump and what would amount to the third Obama term under Hillary.

The voters will decide and Trump will help define the contest for them.

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Trump is earning more respect

Trump is earning more respect not less. The media would have us believe he is losing points from his latest comments about stopping muslim immigration temporarily, etc. NOT! He is saying what many Americans think should be done. I was not a Trumpster from the beginning, but there is NO way I will vote for Hillary. And the Republican Establishment is ludicrous if it thinks it can bring in some third party at this stage in the game. They did not support Cruz when they could have, so now you have Trump. Deal with it and quit with the sore loser routine!

Also, it is time for Ryan and McConnell to go too! They may as well change their party to Democrat because they certainly do not support Republicans, but help the Democrats every step of the way.