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It’s indisputable that Donald Trump has gotten lots of traction attacking specific media figures. This time, though, Trump won’t gain traction attacking a media figure. That’s because Trump’s attacked Charlie Sykes, saying “Charlie Sykes is a lowlife. Charlie Sykes is a guy who is not a real believer, he wants the establishment to win because it’s good for his third-rate show. He’s not a smart man, he’s actually a dumb man. He’s a dummy.”

In the past, like now, Trump has attacked media figures to take attention away from Trump’s misstatements. That’s worked well when he’s attacked ‘the media’ or if he’s attacked Megyn Kelly. It won’t work this time because Wisconsin conservatives know that Charlie Sykes is one of the smartest conservatives in Wisconsin. The only way that Trump benefits from picking this fight is if it helps him in later primaries. With New York’s primary 2 weeks away, attacking Sykes isn’t likely to benefit Trump there. Criticizing Sykes in Wisconsin isn’t as fatal as criticizing the Packers or cheese but it isn’t bright, either. Attacking Sykes is like criticizing Scott Walker. To use Sykes phrase about attacking Walker in Wisconsin, it’s “weapons-grade stupid.”

Sykes didn’t take the criticism sitting down:

“I believe he was quoting Abraham Lincoln,” Sykes said. “Seriously though, he took time out from talking about ISIS, the war on terror, international trade, immigration and the economy, to talk about me? A talk-show host who asked him some questions? Kind of sad. But kind of typical.”

Trump has proven that he’s the thinnest of thin-skinned candidates in recent presidential history. His ‘rattle-factor’ is off-the-charts high.

Wisconsin voters, from what we’ve seen, aren’t easily distracted. They aren’t shiny object voters like Laura Ingraham, Eric Bolling and Sean Hannity. Finally, Trump made this foolish statement:

“I would tell you, I think this has the feel of a victory,” Trump told reporters Sunday during a campaign stop at a Milwaukee diner. “This has the feel of a victory.”

Trump’s onto something … if you define victory as finishing second, 8-12 points behind the guy getting the most votes. Trump cited the PPP ‘poll’ as reason for optimism. The Marquette University poll is Wisconsin’s gold standard. Their final poll before the primary didn’t show a tight race between Sen. Cruz and Mr.Trump.

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Today’s big news from the campaign trail is that Sen. Cruz won a majority of delegates to the Republican National Convention. Since the delegates are technically not bound, however, it’s impossible to state with certainty that they’re Cruz delegates.

On the pro-Trump spin trail, Trump’s supporters insist that following the well-written and long-established rules for the Republican National Convention is anti-American. For instance, Laura Ingraham is upset that the rules are being followed, saying “GOP Establ delegate games in TN & LA proves that they wd rather blow up the party than change on issues driving @realDonaldTrump voters.”

Like others who’ve been infected with Trump’s mind control disease, Ms. Ingraham’s insistence that following the rules is playing games. I’d love hearing Ms. Ingraham explain that statement. Yesterday, a Branch Trumpidian insisted that Republicans were stealing Trump’s nomination. The Trumpsters didn’t like hearing that it wasn’t Trump’s nomination until he accumulated a majority of the delegates. While Trump frequently talks about leading the silent majority, the truth is that he’s leading a noisy plurality. This picture speaks volumes:

The implication is that only Trump voters are “patriots, vets and voters.” Obviously, that’s a lie. While there’s no doubt that patriots, vets and voters support Trump, there’s no doubt that patriots, vets and voters support Cruz and Kasich, too.

For Trump’s supporters to hint that they’ve got a lock on those people is intentionally insulting and divisive. If Trump insists that he’s trying to bring the GOP together. There’s nothing in his supporters’ words that say he’s capable of uniting people other than uniting them in opposition to him.

It’s time for people like Laura Ingraham to accept reality that they aren’t the final arbiters of who’s patriotic and worthy of support.

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Kim Strassel’s article highlights what I’ve been saying for most of this week. Wisconsin is shaping up to be Mr. Trump’s Waterloo.

Ms. Strassel notes that “some prognosticators have gone so far as to suggest the billionaire could place third—behind even John Kasich. The opposition to Mr. Trump is deep and wide enough that he could lose most districts.” That would be extraordinary. It doesn’t seem possible, considering the fact that Trump leads Gov. Kasich by 9 points in the Marquette Poll. Further, Trump leads Gov. Kasich by 13 points in the Fox Business poll. The only poll showing a close race is PPP’s poll, which shows Sen. Cruz leading Trump by 1 point.

Strassel insists that national pundits haven’t noticed that Wisconsin has “been in continuous political warfare for six years. Over that time, Republicans lived through Gov. Scott Walker’s epic battle for his Act 10 public-sector bargaining reform; judicial races; a Senate recall effort; a gubernatorial recall effort; a political assault in a vicious John Doe probe; another election cycle; campaign-finance reform; an overhaul of the state’s ethics body; a right-to-work law; and prevailing-wage reform.”

As much as I’d like to see Trump’s fortunes take a nosedive, I won’t believe it until it’s recorded in the history books. Still, there are some things that are starting to hurt Trump. Pundits like Charlie Hurt repeat the line that others have predicted doom for Trump before and been wrong before. That’s undeniable. Still, this is different in a couple important ways.

At this point, virtually everyone stipulates that Trump’s supporters are incredibly loyal. That’s indisputable. That isn’t the dynamic, however, that’s in play here. What’s in play is the fact that Trump isn’t expanding his base. His attacks against Heidi Cruz and Michelle Fields have hurt him with women. Trump’s abortion gaffe has hurt him, giving people whose first choice candidate has dropped out a reason to not trust Trump.

While Trump’s base is modest-sized, Cruz’s base is growing. Whether people are noticing and caring about Trump’s policy chops remains to be seen. Still, with fewer candidates left, there’s never been a better time to question Trump’s policy chops.

Mr. Trump stumbled onto three of the four biggest shows on Monday, seemingly unaware that all the hosts are part of the “Never Trump” movement. Mr. Sykes likened Mr. Trump to a “12-year-old bully” and insisted he was no conservative. Ms. McKenna was similarly rough, though Mr. Trump did himself no favors by hanging up on her.

Unlike Sean Hannity, a charter member of the Trump Adoration Society, Wisconsin’s conservative talkers didn’t give Trump a pass. They’ve given him tons of well-deserved grief. It’s better to be exposed now before he’s the nominee than after he’s the nominee and you don’t have other options.

Thus far, politicians endorsing Donald Trump haven’t paid a price. It isn’t a stretch to think it might hurt them in the future. Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-NE), is a rising star in the Republican Party. He’s a freshman who isn’t afraid to criticize Mr. Trump or other politicians.

This weekend, Sen. Sasse criticized Trump, saying “This is sad and everyone who has a sister or wife or daughter or mom should reconsider supporting this tiny little man.” Then Sen. Sasse finished the criticism of Trump, saying “@RealDonaldTrump loves bullying women on Twitter. But he’d never have the guts to talk like this abt a guy’s wife to his face. #fakeToughGuy”

Trump’s disgusting statements about women (think Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina) and his denying his campaign team’s physical mishandling of women (think Michelle Fields) are creating a problem that there isn’t a solution to.

Trump can’t call women ugly or accuse them of mistreating him because they’re menstruating or have his campaign manager physically manhandle a reporter without creating a general election problem that he can’t dig himself out from.

Some of the things Trump’s said are fixable. Frequently insulting women isn’t fixable. Just because Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham support Mr. Trump doesn’t mean women will support him in the general election. They won’t. Polls consistently show Trump with a 25-30 point favorability gap with women. That can’t be swept aside by saying that you “cherish women.”

Here are Sen. Sasse’s tweets:

Thanks to conservatives with character, Republicans that endorse Donald Trump will have some explaining to do in the years to come. They’ll have to explain why they supported a man “devoid of honor, integrity or manliness.” When Trump loses, whether at the convention or in the general election, people will get criticized for supporting him without questioning Trump’s lack of integrity.

When that day of reckoning comes, it won’t be a good day for Fox News, Breitbart hacks or Sean Hannity.

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Prior to Super Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses, Donald Trump’s ceiling of support seemed to be in the 35%-36% range. He won handily in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. It’s particularly noteworthy that those 3 states were open states where Democrats were allowed to cause mischief or where independents could vote.

Yesterday’s events were closed events, with only Republicans voting. This table shows yesterday’s results:

Combining the 4 events together, Sen. Cruz got 41% of the votes cast. Meanwhile, Trump got 33.3% of the vote.

I haven’t hidden my disgust with Trump. If I were king for a day, I’d banish him to Gitmo and throw away the key to his cell. I’ve got great company in not respecting Trump. Steve Hayes’ article lowers the boom on Trump, especially this part:

The worst of these moments may have come when Trump mocked the disability of a journalist who had criticized him. At a rally in Sarasota last November, Trump was discussing Serge Kovaleski, a reporter for the New York Times. “The poor guy, you’ve got to see this guy,” Trump said, before flailing in a manner that resembled a palsy tremor. Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that affects the movement and positioning of his joints.

When Trump was criticized, he said he couldn’t have been mocking the reporter because he was unaware of Kovaleski’s condition. That wasn’t true. Kovaleski had interviewed Trump a dozen times and said they had interacted on “a first-name basis for years.” Trump then accused Kovaleski of “using his disability to grandstand.”

This came up last Friday, as I drove my 8-year-old son to see the Washington Capitals play. I’ll be gone on his birthday, covering presidential primaries, so this was an early present.

My son and his older sister have followed the campaign, as much as kids their age do, and they’re aware that I’ve traded barbs with Trump. So we sometimes talk about the candidates and their attributes and faults, and we’d previously talked about Trump’s penchant for insulting people. On our drive down, my son told me that some of the kids in his class like Trump because “he has the most points,” and he asked me again why I don’t like the Republican frontrunner.

I reminded him about the McCain and Fiorina stories and then we spent a moment talking about Kovaleski. I described his condition and showed him how physically limiting it would be. Then he asked a simple question:

“Why would anyone make fun of him?”

Why indeed?

I’d flip this around a bit. I’d ask what qualities or policies would convince me to vote for Mr. Trump. In terms of national security policy or taxes, regulations, federalism, the Constitution and the rule of law, I find Mr. Trump utterly deficient. Listening to Trump answer a question on national security is torture. At times, he’s said that he’d “bomb the s— out of ISIS.” At other times, he’s said he’d talk Putin into taking out ISIS. Bombing the s— out of ISIS sounds great but that’s just part of the threat ISIS poses. That does nothing to stop ISIS from radicalizing Muslims in Europe or the United States. Apparently, Trump hasn’t figured that out, mostly because he doesn’t even have an elemental understanding of foreign policy.

On national security, Trump says he’ll be strong and frequently pronounces himself “militaristic.” But he doesn’t seem to have even a newspaper reader’s familiarity with the pressing issues of the day. He was nonplussed by a reference to the “nuclear triad”; he confused Iran’s Quds Force and the Kurds; he didn’t know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah. The ignorance would be less worrisome if his instincts weren’t terrifying. He’s praised authoritarians for their strength, whether Vladimir Putin for killing journalists and political opponents or the Chinese government for the massacre it perpetrated in Tiananmen Square. To the extent he articulates policies, he seems to be an odd mix of third-world despot and naïve pacifist.

Like Steve Hayes, I’m a proud member of the #NeverTrump movement. While pundits like Sean Hannity and Andrea Tantaros talk about Trump like he’s a conservative god, I won’t. That’s because I care more about the principles that make conservatism and capitalism the most powerful forces for positive change.

Why anyone would vote for a disgusting, immoral liberal like Donald Trump is mind-boggling. Personally, I won’t.

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Laura Ingraham has apparently named herself the determiner of who is the GOP establishment and who is part of a populist movement of, by and for the people. In one of her articles, she throws the kitchen sink at the GOP establishment. (I won’t supply the link because I don’t want to drive traffic to her website.)

According to Ingraham’s article, the “takeaway for the GOP Establishment, and its enablers at places like National Review and RedState, will be that Marco Rubio’s win in Minnesota, combined with Cruz’s victories in Texas and Oklahoma and the close-ish race in Virginia, show that Donald Trump can be stopped. They just have to keep going negative.”

First, it’s frightening to think that Ms. Ingraham thinks of RedState is part of the GOP establishment. While I haven’t always agreed with RedState’s beliefs and political analysis, I’ve never questioned their commitment to TEA Party principles. Second, while I agree that NRO is GOP Establishment-ish, I can’t say that they’re card-carrying members of the GOP establishment. Writers like Jonah Goldberg, Jim Geraghty and Kevin Williamson are thinkers who don’t take their marching orders from anyone, much less from the ever-morphing GOP Establishment.

This statement is utterly mindless:

There’s no point in complaining about this. Trump represents a potentially existential threat to the Donor Class.

When Trump told Bret Baier that soldiers would obey his illegal orders, did that represent a “potentially existential threat to the donor class” or did it represent that rantings of a lunatic who didn’t care about the rule of law? Trump didn’t reverse himself until after conservatives wrote negative articles criticizing Mr. Trump for his willingness to order troops to commit war crimes.

At the same time, this primary season has demonstrated that the Establishment has some real problems. It’s clear that Rubio is a deeply flawed candidate. It’s clear he struggles to reach people who aren’t already committed to the Establishment Agenda. It’s clear that the voters are screaming “NO!” to the Establishment’s agenda; they have rejected it in almost every state by almost overwhelming numbers.

What’s equally clear is that conservative activists, like the activists populating CPAC, have noticed that Mr. Trump “is a deeply flawed candidate” who “struggles to reach people who aren’t” repeating Mr. Trump’s clichés.

The GOP Establishment didn’t start the #NeverTrump movement. Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-NE), is the spiritual leader of the movement. Calling a freshman senator from Nebraska who confronted Sean Hannity at CPAC, “chastising the Fox News host for suggesting his refusal to vote for Donald Trump was equivalent to a vote for Hillary Clinton.” Here’s the set of questions Sen. Sasse posed to Mr. Trump that have gone unanswered:

Q1: You said you want single-payer “govt pays4everyone” [health care]. If that isn’t your position now when did it change? Why?
Q2: You’ve said you “hate the concept of guns.” Why the change? When did it happen? What’s the 2nd Amendment mean to you?
Q3: A few yrs ago u proposed $6trillion tax hike. Still want to do that? Agree w/ Biden that higher taxes=more patriotism?
Q4: You brag about many affairs w/ married women. Have you repented? To harmed children & spouses? Do you think it matters?
Q5: I believe 1 of the most damaging things POTUS Obama did is ignore Constitution, act on his own,& bypass Congress Next GOP POTUS must roll this back & reaffirm a Constitutional system b4 we lose this special inheritance forever. Do you agree that exec unilateralism is very bad? Because you talk A LOT about “running the country” as though 1 man should “run America.” Will you commit to rolling back Exec power & undoing Obama unilateral habit?

Do those sound like questions that the GOP Establishment pose on a daily basis? Of course they aren’t, which proves my point that populists mindlessly use the term GOP Establishment whenever their indefensible positions are questions. (They’ll use the term elitist, too. The words are interchangeable.)

Opposing Trump isn’t part of a GOP Establishment conspiracy to thwart the will of the people. It’s the re-invigoration of the TEA Party movement after high-profile TEA Party activists sold out TEA Party principles for high-paying positions with politicians. We’re opposing Trump because he’s the embodiment of the corruption known as crony capitalism.

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Donald Trump has used one of the central tenets of reality TV to jump into the lead in the race to be the GOP presidential nominee. That’s fine. All’s fair with tactics as long as they aren’t illegal. The old saying that “politics ain’t beanbag” is still true. What’s funny is that Trump’s supporters are whining that Trump’s GOP opponents have picked up on Trump’s reality TV tactics and are starting to use Mr. Trump’s tactics against him.

Based on Jonah Goldberg’s article, Trump’s supporters, especially those in talk radio, have a glass jaw. If you don’t believe that, just read my article about Sen. Ben Sasse confronting Sean Hannity at CPAC yesterday. According to this Blaze article, “Sasse confronted Sean Hannity Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, chastising the Fox News host for suggesting his refusal to vote for Donald Trump was equivalent to a vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Trump himself started the whining during an interview with Bill O’Reilly:

Jonah Goldberg highlighted the Trumpians’ glass jaw with this observation:

“How dare you try to tell voters how to vote!” cried countless pro-Trump cable-news commentators, pundits, and radio hosts. It’s a fascinating complaint coming from people who make a living by offering their opinions on how voters should vote. It’s also nonsense. If opposing Trump is now the definition of the establishment, then roughly 66 percent of GOP primary voters are members of the establishment. The “silent majority” isn’t a majority and most certainly isn’t silent. Alas, “The Loud Plurality for Trump!” doesn’t look as good on homemade signs at rallies.

That’s proof that whiners will whine, especially when they don’t win.

I’d suggest that conservatives in the #NeverTrump movement should prepare for a lengthy period of whining from the Trumpians.

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When the first rumor got out that Jason Lewis was thinking about running for John Kline’s seat, the DFL’s opposition research staffers must’ve smiled for a week. As a former radio talk show host, and a provocative, feisty one at that, Lewis certainly wasn’t a stranger to controversy. It isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL will deploy their war-on-women chanting points if Lewis is the GOP candidate in Minnesota’s Second District.

Let’s hope that they do.

In 2014, I wrote more than a few articles about Mark Udall’s re-election campaign against Cory Gardner. This article, in particular, highlights the fruitlessness of deploying the war-on-women tactic. Sen. Udall used those chanting points too often, leading the Denver post to nickname him Mark Uterus in their article endorsing Sen. Gardner.

The candidate most likely to win the DFL’s endorsement is Angie Craig. Based on her issues page, she sounds like a well-financed, cookie cutter progressive. After watching her debate on Almanac, I’m convinced that that’s who she is. She’s great at reciting her lines but thinking on her feet isn’t a strength.

Make High Quality Public Education and Debt-Free College Our Highest Priorities

In other words, she’s a Bernie Sanders socialist. Either that or a Hillary Clinton socialist. (It’s difficult to distinguish between them.)

Build a Sustainable Economy and Create Meaningful, Good-Paying Jobs

Thank God for Ms. Craig for reminding us that government creates jobs:

Let’s support and reward businesses that create jobs and invest in infrastructure and research and development in America.

I’ve got a better idea. How about getting government out of the way and let businesses do what they naturally do. Like most socialists, Ms. Craig apparently thinks that companies don’t invest in their businesses or R & D. It’s clear that Ms. Craig has never seen this video:

Dr. Friedman was right in saying that “the world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.”

While there’s no question that Minnesota’s Second District isn’t as conservative as it was before redistricting, there’s no question that it’s suddenly a liberal district that will support a socialist. Without interfering in the race, the fact is that Jason Lewis would light this socialist-in-training like a Christmas tree.

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To say that Mark Levin has lost it with regards to Marco Rubio is understatement. His latest diatribe reads like the rantings of an unhinged lefty. One statement that questions Levin’s state of mind starts with him saying “But Rubio has no significant accomplishments other than his election to various public offices. He has few if any accomplishments outside of politics and virtually no accomplishments in public office as a U.S. senator.”

There’s no question that Mr. Levin is a well-informed conservative. That doesn’t mean he’s always right. This time, he’s terribly dishonest. Yuval Levin highlights Sen. Rubio’s biggest accomplishment, saying “The answer, it seems to me, is that none of it would have happened if Rubio had not made the risk-corridor insurer bailout an issue, starting in 2013. Before that, a few health wonks on the right had raised red flags about the issue, but it wasn’t until Rubio and his staff grasped its significance, insistently drew attention to it, and produced a bill to avert an insurer bailout that the issue became prominent among the priorities of Obamacare’s opponents. Rubio was without question the first and most significant congressional voice on this subject, and if he hadn’t done the work he did, the risk-corridor neutralization provision would not have been in last year’s (or this year’s) budget bill.”

Unlike Sen. Cruz, who shut down the government trying to do the impossible, Sen. Rubio highlighted a provision that would have been used to bail out insurance companies, then wrote legislation that was eventually included in a major spending bill that prevents insurance company bailouts. Is Mr. Levin willing to insist that this isn’t a significant accomplishment? If he’s willing to deny the importance of Sen. Rubio’s bailout prevention provision, then he isn’t honest.

Rubio fancies himself the next Ronald Reagan. But such self-aggrandizement is unmerited.

With all due respect to Mr. Levin, who worked in the Reagan administration, I’ll trust Michael Reagan’s word over Levin’s:

If @marcorubio beats Cruz tonight that’s the win of the night….

Levin hasn’t hidden the fact that he’s supporting Sen. Cruz. He’s certainly entitled to do that. What he isn’t entitled to do, though, is use deceptive arguments to make Sen. Cruz’s chief competitor look bad. I’d expect that from a Democrat. I won’t tolerate that from a former member of the Reagan administration.

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Reid Epstein’s article on Sen. Cruz isn’t a flattering portrayal of Sen. Cruz. Frankly, Sen. Cruz’s statements sound whiny and jealous. When Sen. Cruz said “I understand that in the media newsrooms and in the Washington establishment circles, Marco is the chosen one”, it came across as if Sen. Cruz is jealous that Sen. Rubio is getting glowing attention from reporters. At some point, Sen. Cruz should examine why he isn’t getting positive coverage in the press.

It isn’t a secret that Sen. Cruz loves bragging that he isn’t liked by “the Washington cartel.” He wears like it’s a badge of honor. If Sen. Cruz wanted more positive coverage, it might help to not wear his disdain on his sleeve.

That isn’t to say that Sen. Cruz should thirst for the MSM’s approval. Conservatives shouldn’t want that. There’s a difference in degrees, though, between wanting fair coverage and wanting the MSM’s approval.

Launching into bitter-sounding diatribes won’t improve Sen. Cruz’s image with voters. Already, Sen. Rubio is reaching out to the entire Republican Party, something that Sen. Cruz should’ve already started. Instead, Sen. Cruz did this:

Later, inside the packed bar while a repeat of Wednesday night’s hockey games played on the flat-screen TVs, Mr. Cruz launched into another tirade against Mr. Rubio, seeking to cast doubt on the Florida senator’s argument he’s the most electable in the GOP field.

“The media adores him,” Mr. Cruz said. “These are the same people who told us Bob Dole was the electable one, that told us John McCain was the electable one, that told us Mitt Romney was the electable one. You’re always the electable one until you win the nomination, and then you cannot possibly win the election.”

First, comparing Sen. Rubio to Dole, McCain and Romney is like comparing Cadillac Escalades with a Prius. While they’re both vehicles, that’s where the similarities end. Rush Limbaugh never said that Dole, McCain or Romney was “a legitimate, full-throated conservative.”

What’s worse is that Sen. Cruz’s unscripted complaining diminishes him. Rather than being bitter, Sen. Cruz should work on not being as antagonistic as he’s been thus far this campaign.

The reason why the press likes Sen. Rubio is because he’s actually an interesting, positive person. What person, whether they’re a member of the media or not, doesn’t appreciate listening to calm-tempered people over bitter-sounding people?

Rather than complaining about Sen. Rubio, Sen. Cruz should try changing his approach towards the media. Loosen up a little. Don’t be an antagonist. It might help.

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