NPR: Maybe She Doesn’t Have This?

The 86th post from the Journal of American Greatness originally published in May, 2016.


UPDATE—May 11: NPR gave airtime to John Feehery, the president of QGA Public Affairs, in order to explain his decision to unify behind Trump in spite of his reservations: “What Donald Trump has done is he’s shaken up a political system here in Washington that desperately needs shaking up…. He’s the change candidate in this.” A variety of mainstream publications are now sounding the alarm over Hilary’s campaign. The Atlantic reported on the close Quinnipiac Poll. A certain self-described “anti-Republican” columnistwarned her as well.

UPDATE—May 10: NPR (again!) poured cold water on the anti-Trump GOP, this morning noting that time has essentially run out to get a third-party candidate on the ballot in sufficient states to carry the general election.

“SHE’S GOT THIS” has been the constantand correct—refrain during Hillary Clinton’s march to the Democratic presidential nomination. Applying this assumption to the general election was the basis of much objection to Donald Trump earlier in the primary season. Now that Trump has effectively locked up the nomination, Establishment Republicans’ deeper (well, shallower, but let’s be charitable) objections to Trump have come out into the open, the consequences be damned.

The myth of Trump’s unelectability has become the GOP Establishment’s rally cry, and that of 90 percent of “top operatives, strategists and activists,” as well. The organs of Principled Conservatism™ have abandoned their usual “red meat” posts on Republican prospects in the general election, though last time round they perpetuated the myth of Romney’s electability right to the bitter end.

Whether NPR sensed a market opportunity in trolling the Republican media is unknown to us. What is apparent is that they are unexpectedly delighting in the decline of the Republican Establishment. They show their delight not by delighting openly but by reporting what the Republicans will not report. #NeverTrump, they said on April 29, was backfiring. Weeks before that, they noted that Pennsylvania Democrats were crossing over to vote for Trump.

Today they made the dangerous suggestion that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is not assured a victory in the general election. Dangerous, because Clinton’s inevitability and Trump’s unelectability are the only narratives the media will tell. What will happen when these myths implode?

Mara Liasson exposed the first myth on NPR this evening. “A lot of Democrats say that in order to beat Trump, she needs to be developing a clearer message on the economy…. Asked what, in one sentence, Clinton wants to do, here’s what David Axelrod, President Obama’s former strategist, said: ‘I don’t think Hillary Clinton wants to do anything in one sentence,’ said Axelrod.” She needs a message on the economy … but doesn’t have one at all.

“Democratic pollster Celinda Lake,” Mara added, “says Clinton needs her own origin story. She needs to tell voters why they are struggling. ‘Why are we not competitive? Why do we not have manufacturing jobs?’ said Lake…. In Celinda Lake’s polls, Democrats are consistently behind Republicans on the issue of the economy. In recent general election polls, where Clinton beats Trump handily in the horse race, the economy is the only issue where he beats her. And the economy is THE No. 1 issue. Democrats have never won a presidential election when they’re losing on the economy.

“WHAT COULD BE CLINTON’S BIG IDEA?” Mara Liasson asked, almost thirteen months after Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 campaign. “Debt-free college? A major infrastructure program? She hasn’t decided yet.”

Good luck to Hillary’s campaign staff on writing those inspiring speeches. Nothing like an infrastructure program to reverse several generations of stagnation and decline for ordinary Americans. Priming the education pump will also deliver immediate help to families in need….

Mara Liasson’s heresies didn’t stop there. “Trump beats Clinton on the economy not just because he’s a businessman … but because she’s a woman,” she said. “Lake’s polling shows that female candidates from both parties are rated behind men on the economy and jobs.” But but but … we thought … it can’t be that, this doesn’t compute and—don’t all women hate Trump, we were told…. Well anyway it’s sexist not to prefer Clinton on the economy, so maybe if the press just browbeats America into submission, then everything will be OK?

And remember, the ones who say Trump can’t win are the same ones who say Mitt Romney’s third party ticket could go all the way to the White House.

We never thought we’d say it. But if you want to hear the story of how Hillary loses, you might need to check in with NPR.

—MANLIUS CAPITOLINUS

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