Donald Trump standing in front of a wall of garbage.
On Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey held a pretty amazing press conference, during which he went through a laundry list of ways in which Hillary Clinton and Co. mishandled classified info, violated the law, betrayed the American trust, and showed poor judgement, while simultaneously stating that nothing whatsoever would be done about it. The American people were outraged. Even the media weren’t super enamored of it. But by Tuesday night, people were talking about something else: A ridiculous thing that Donald Trump said.
This was not the first time Trump had praised Saddam Hussein’s wonderful terror-fighting acumen. He’d been pulling that chestnut out for years. He probably worked it up for his “rich and famous” parties, one of those social gathering talking points, a perfectly encapsulated tidbit of provocative idea and blowhard-ery that makes you sound interesting before you ask someone to hand you money for condos you’ll never build. He just never stopped using it once he got on the campaign trail. So it wasn’t new. But the media and the people latched onto it and Hillary was bumped from the trending lists.
On Wednesday, people returned focus to Hillary as grown-ups made statements highlighting how absurd it is that Hillary was sliding by with many transgressions and no repercussions. Again the tide turned against her and away from the GOP. But again, by nightfall, the news had changed. Why? Donald Trump held a political rally wherein he spent a great deal of time defending his anti-Semitic friends and their drawings, doubling down on Saddam, and reliving his primary triumphs over his terrible opponents.
When the media turns attention away from Hillary and toward Trump, his followers and fans and apologists point their fingers at the media and cry foul. As we noted here at RedState, the outrage over Trump’s comments about Saddam among the press was perfectly timed for Clinton, but totally old news otherwise. Was the media running cover for Hillary?
D’UH!!!! But guess what, folks, that is old news too. Of course the press takes Clinton talking points and runs with them. The Clinton campaign attacked Trump’s comments and away we went that night. But Trump didn’t need those comments. That stupid line about Saddam Hussein being “so good” at killing terrorists, besides being stupid, was a foreseeable problem.
And last night? Spending his rally defending a tweet? Wasting time doubling down on how great Saddam Hussein was? Attacking old rivals, bragging about prior victories? Why does he keep doing these things? They are the perfect distraction.
When Trump fans are angry that the subject gets changed, they should see who is changing it. The media is already going to do everything in their power to protect a Democrat and hurt a Republican. (Although they don’t love this particular Dem as much.) But Hillary is a walking, human example of everything voters are rejecting this year. You have to work hard to NOT capitalize on that. You have to work hard to NOT benefit from it.
Yet poll after poll show Trump isn’t benefiting from it. Other Republicans would be. There comes a time when you have to ask who is hurting Trump’s narrative more: the known-enemy MSM? Or his own ridiculous mouth?
Donald Trump’s circus act and the media’s Clinton shield is the perfect storm for getting her in the White House. As she continues to dominate polls, Trump fans and GOP leadership, just remember that. Remember why. It’s your foreseeable disaster of a candidate. He’s the reverse of you break it you buy it. You bought him, he’ll break it.