Why I Can’t Stand the Mainstream Media

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Following Hillary Clinton’s post-convention bump, where a few select polls gave her a brief double digit lead over Donald Trump, the mainstream media collectively decided to try and kill Trump.

That’s the only explanation I can muster for what is taking place. Even media outlets like CNN, which reported at least somewhat objectively during the primary, have now gone full bore for Hillary as they attempt to bury Trump.

Over the past week, the mainstream media chose two “major” stories over which to obsess. These stories aren’t worth much in the grand scheme of things. They are not even true. But that didn’t stop the media from promoting a false narrative.

1.) The RNC Might Dump Trump!

The best stories are the ones that depend on anonymous sources, right?

Last week, I explained why I can’t stand GOP operatives — more than 70 ex-RNC operatives signed a letter begging the RNC to redirect its funding away from helping Trump and instead toward helping House and Senate candidates. The RNC responded correctly by saying there were no discussions to do that currently and that they would ultimately make their final funding decisions at the beginning of October.

So what did Politico take from that? “RNC Considers Cutting Cash to Trump.” Never mind that Sean Spicer, the RNC’s top strategist, said nothing resembling that:

“When I’ve gotten these questions, I’ve been correcting the record. There is no talk of shifting resources in mid-August and it’s unlikely that would happen until late September or October.”

This wasn’t the first story like this. Continue Reading

Why I Cannot Stand Republican Operatives

This is why I cannot stand GOP operatives.

Politico is reporting that a group of nearly 70 ex-RNC staffers, ex-GOP Congressmen and ex-GOP Senators have signed a letter begging the RNC to drop its support for Donald Trump and instead focus the entirety of its financial resources on protecting GOP House and Senate majorities.

Via Politico:

“We believe that Donald Trump’s divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide, and only the immediate shift of all available RNC resources to vulnerable Senate and House races will prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck,” states a draft of the letter obtained by POLITICO. “This should not be a difficult decision, as Donald Trump’s chances of being elected president are evaporating by the day.”

The irony of ironies is that this effort is being led by Andrew Weinstein, a vocal anti-Trump Republican whose major credential is serving as Director of Media Relations for the 1996 Dole-Kemp presidential campaign. Let me remind folks about the outcome of that campaign. Bob Dole won just 159 electoral votes and lost the popular vote to Bill Clinton by 8.5 percent.

I think it’s fair that people who have survived a disaster, as Weinstein did, can have an important perspective on avoiding a future disaster. But I have less respect for their position when their basic complaint is that Trump’s campaign does not fully resemble the disaster that was the 1996 Dole campaign, which Weinstein helped orchestrate. Continue Reading

The Inconvenience of Conscience

Photo credit: PBS NewsHour via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

And so it begins.

The next episode of the Civics Reality Show that is the Republican presidential nomination was previewed last Thursday when the Republican National Convention floated a draft rule that, if passed, would ignominiously squelch the nascent “Stop Trump” movement.

In an NBC News report, according to the draft rule:

…it would effectively lock-in Donald Trump as the GOP nominee and kill the “Stop Trump” movement once and for all…freezing the 2012 rules so that no alternatives go into effect this year.

The proposal states “any amendments” to the party rules will not “take effect” until after this year’s convention ends.

This is a wound that will bleed but for a short while but which promises to leave a nasty scar. While the immediate losers would be delegates who cannot, in good conscience, vote for someone they feel is neither suitable to represent their party nor to occupy the Oval Office, there will be a more devastating impact to the Republican Party.

How can a Party so invested in protecting conscience rights in virtually every area of its platform deny those rights to duly elected delegates to its own convention? The message this sends clearly is that the RNC does not, in fact, respect those rights when conscience is inconvenient for its goal of crushing dissent. This is not hard-knuckle politics; it is fear masquerading as functionality, and it bodes ill for the Republic beyond Donald Trump. Indeed, when combined with the horrific rash of SCOTUS rulings last week eviscerating conscience rights over abortion, everyone who has labored in the trenches to defend religious liberty should now be very afraid of a Republican Party willing to pile on. Continue Reading

Will an Obscure GOP Rule Ensure No One Can Beat Trump?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

An article in RedState by RNC committeeman Morton Blackwell has garnered some attention recently in highlighting a little-known rule instituted in 2012 regarding the Republican nomination process.

Rule 40(b) of The Rules of the Republican Party, while originally enacted to tamper down on dissent from Mitt Romney’s nomination in 2012, may actually end up making it difficult for any Republican candidates to defeat Donald Trump, even if he does not win an outright majority of delegates prior to the party’s national convention.

First, some background from Blackwell:

… A greater number of people have recently learned that, as the national rules now stand, no delegate votes cast for any presidential candidate will be counted in the tally of first ballot votes unless that candidate had earlier demonstrated his support from a majority of the delegations from at least eight states or territories.

That’s exactly what happened at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

No votes for any candidate other than Mitt Romney were counted in the final tally of the votes on the first and only ballot in Tampa.  That caused a great uproar and many hard feelings.  Large numbers of Delegates went home furious.  They had come to Tampa to cast their votes for other candidates, but their votes weren’t even counted!

The Romney campaign used the power of the incoming presidential nominee in the national convention’s Rules Committee to impose a great many rules changes, including a change that had the intended effect of eliminating the counting of votes for anyone but Romney.

Continue Reading

Four Reasons for Santorum’s Disappointing Showing in 2016

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last night, Rick Santorum became the latest casualty of the 2016 election cycle when he announced he was officially suspending his presidential campaign. Despite finishing second overall in 2012, Santorum never got off the ground in 2016. What happened?

1. The media and the RNC happened.

The two-tiered debates were bad in theory and even worse in practice. At the beginning, we had over a dozen legitimate candidates and a couple borderline legitimate candidates (George Pataki and Jim Gilmore). By using national polls to determine who got into the primetime debates, the media had its own primary and told voters who they wanted to hear from, not the other way around. And to make matters worse, the RNC — which is supposed to support all candidates and let the voters narrow the field down — cooperated with the media.

The two-tier debates could have been workable if the “undercard” debates were given a fair amount of coverage. Instead, the networks barely advertised the undercards, and spent the day talking about who needed to do what in the primetime debate and basically ignoring the undercard debates. I watched most of the undercards, and I found them to be far more substantive and interesting than the primetime circuses. There were so many fresh conservative ideas put forth by Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, and others that simply never got talked about.

The result was decreased visibility for Santorum (and the other candidates relegated to the undercards). Continue Reading

Reince Preibus to NBC: No More Debates For You!

Photo credit: Geoffrey Fairchild via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In a letter to NBC News today, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced that the Republican Party was suspending its planned February debate on the network. Priebus made no secret why he’s pulling out, placing the blame squarely on CNBC’s disastrous moderating job this Wednesday: “The CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith.”

You can read Priebus’ letter below:

Mr. Andrew Lack Chairman, NBC News 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, New York 10112

Dear Mr. Lack,

I write to inform you that pending further discussion between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and our presidential campaigns, we are suspending the partnership with NBC News for the Republican primary debate at the University of Houston on February 26, 2016. The RNC’s sole role in the primary debate process is to ensure that our candidates are given a full and fair opportunity to lay out their vision for America’s future. We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns.

The CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith. We understand that NBC does not exercise full editorial control over CNBC’s journalistic approach. However, the network is an arm of your organization, and we need to ensure there is not a repeat performance.

CNBC billed the debate as one that would focus on “the key issues that matter to all voters—job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy.”  That was not the case.

Continue Reading

Don’t Muzzle Carly

Photo credit: Joshua Pinho

CNN is hosting the next Republican presidential debate on September 16th, yet Carly Fiorina may not be permitted to participate. The candidates with the most momentum after the Fox News debate are Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. She should be in the CNN debate.

The reason she will likely be excluded is that most of the polls CNN is using to determine a candidate’s ranking were conducted before the first debate. But at this stage, those polls are irrelevant.

I can think of many reasons why CNN would not want an articulate, conservative woman on stage during prime time. But I have no idea why the Republican National Committee is going along with this.

I strongly recommend the RNC step in and address this situation.

Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. Continue Reading

The Story the MSM Suppresses: RNC Takes Strong Stance on Marriage

Good news! The Republican National Committee just passed two strong resolutions objecting to the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, one condemning judicial overreach and another spectacularly strong resolution endorsing the First Amendment Defense Act by name.

You wouldn’t know if from the media coverage of the meeting, which carefully trumpeted a premature and manufactured narrative—“Republican Committee Quietly Rejects Anti-Gay Marriage Resolution,” as Time magazine trumpeted on August 5—and has yet  to report on the two strong resolutions the RNC members actually passed.

“I was in the room, the outrage about the Supreme Court’s decision and the deep concern about the rapidly multiplying negative consequences for traditional believers was strong and palpable,” Ellen Barrosse, Delaware’s National Committeewoman and Chairman of the RNC’s Conservative Steering Committee, told me. (Ellen is also a board member of American Principles in Action which publishes ThePulse2016.com.) “Rejection of the Supreme Court’s overreach is something that, contrary to the mainstream media narrative, really unites the GOP,” she added.

Citing both Obergefell and the Obamacare decision, the RNC resolution on judicial overreach calls on Congress “to pass appropriate laws to protect rights of conscience” and “insists” that “the next Republican President appoints judges at all Federal levels who are proven to faithfully apply the Constitution strictly. . .”

But most striking was the decision to advocate for a specific legislative proposal to protect religious liberty, the First Amendment Defense Act, which is rapidly becoming the consensus proposal among Republicans for responding to Obergefell.

The FADA resolution relies on the authority of Chief Justice Roberts to confidently point to “the serious religious liberty consequences” of Obergefell, quoting Roberts’ dissent in that case: “Today’s decision . Continue Reading

Breaking News: RNC Passes Resolution Endorsing FADA

This is big news that the mainstream media isn’t covering: The Republican National Committee just unanimously passed resolutions endorsing the First Amendment Defense Act and expressing outrage over the Supreme Court’s judicial overreach.  You can see the full resolutions below:

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action. Continue Reading