Rush warns Trump: Going after the media doesn't work

Via the Daily Rushbo. He’s right, but he’s assuming that Trump’s top priority is to win. It’s *a* priority, but at this point is it *the* priority?

As I said this morning, once Trump himself reaches the point of believing that the race is lost, he’ll shift from trying to win to trying to spin the loss by placing blame elsewhere. The fact that he’s taken to attacking the media and grumbling about disloyal Republicans so often on Twitter over the past few days suggests that maybe we’ve reached that point. If he’s already hunting for scapegoats on whom to pin a loss, the “drive-by media” is a natural target.

(Not strictly true, but whatever.)

Rod Dreher, who spent his weekend volunteering to help people left homeless by the flooding in Baton Rouge, read that and came away wondering about Trump’s priorities too — in a different sense:

Honestly, with so much suffering in this country now — acutely here, right now, in Louisiana, but people are hurting all over (seen the news from Milwaukee today?) — all that fathead can do is gripe about how mean the news media are to him. It’s disgusting. I have not been a #NeverTrump conservative, and don’t really care to be part of that crowd now, even though I cannot imagine voting for Hillary Clinton either. I believe Trump has brought up some important issues that the GOP didn’t care to address. But as of today, I wouldn’t vote for Trump if you put a gun to my head. The vanity and the pettiness of that jackass beggars belief. If he had any sense, he would be on a plane down here trying to help, or at least showing real concern, instead of sitting there with his smartphone, bleating like a baby.

You don’t need to know what I think of Hillary. If you are a conservative, it’s exactly what you think too. But it makes me really angry that this is what the conservative party has to offer America in the fall of 2016: this ridiculous clown. And we have him in part because none of the GOP regulars could make the sale to primary voters.

That’s a not insignificant part of the reason why Trump’s favorability is consistently so low in polls, I think. It’s not that he’s not volunteering during a crisis, it’s that he whines inconsolably about every setback despite being one of the hundred or so most privileged people on the planet. Even if you allow that he does it strategically rather than out of simple vanity, because it tends to work in getting him what he wants, the spectacle of a celebrity billionaire who lives in a gilded apartment in the sky above Manhattan whining that the media is mean to him appeals to literally no one outside his own cult of personality. Even Rush, who’s spent the past year apologizing for Trump, seems to find it hard to take. It’s not the sort of thing you’d waste time doing if you’re trying to claw back 10 percent from Hillary Clinton in the polls. It’s exactly the sort of thing you’d spend time doing if you’re trying to prepare your base for a loss and are desperate for them to understand that it’s not your fault.

Speaking of which, talk-radio host Charlie Sykes made a trenchant point recently about why ye olde bash-the-media strategy is so popular among Republican politicians. The wider media really is guilty of a persistent, institutional liberal skew, but conservative media has hammered that point so relentlessly over the years that now some right-wing voters seem prepared to dismiss any unpleasant fact as the product of bias even if, like Hillary Clinton’s poll lead, it’s supported by something like 20 different independent sources:

There’s not going to be a reckoning. If anything, it might get worse.