At a Federalist Society meeting, the longtime conservative pundit George Will said that he was leaving the Republican Part, and had changed his affiliation from Republican to Independent. "This is not my party," told people. He added that for all those who wanted to "Dump Trump," it was too late to have any other nominee than Donald Trump. My only quibble is that, indeed, this is his party, and has been for the past 15-20 years. It may not be the party of his own personal values from 50 years ago, but that party hasn't been the GOP for two decades. We're just seeing the culmination.
Max Boot, a Republican history and fellow of the respected Council on Foreign Relations had it right, compared to George Will. He posted a tweet back in February, when he wrote --
This is certainly blunt, tough talk, though there are two problems with it. The first is that, despite saying that he's not going to support Trump "until..." -- he actually has already supported Trump previously. And the second is -- okay, so what took Mr. Scarborough so long to come to this conclusion that Donald Trump is suddenly acting like a racist and a bigot?? Donald Trump has been acting like a racist and a bigot and a misogynist and a bully for about the past year. Welcome to the party, Joe, but don't make it sound like it just started.
Somewhat the same with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) trying to sound wise and ahead of the curve -- but running for his life fast in the opposite direction -- when asked about Donald Trump's qualifications: "Look, I'll leave that to the American people to decide," he said. "You know, he won the Republican nomination fair and square, He got more votes than anybody else against a whole lot of well qualified candidates. And so our primary voters have made their decision as to who they want to be the nominee. The American people will be able to make that decision in the fall.''
I would say that Mitch McConnell answered the question of whether he thinks Donald Trump is qualified to be president, and what he said in his refusal was, "Dear God, no." The question should be easy for any political leader when asked about if his party's nominee for president is qualified. The answer should always, always, always be: "Of course, absolutely, highly qualified, he'll be a great president." Instead, saying, "I'll leave that to the American people" translates loudly as "No, no, no, a million times, NOOOO!!"
Fortunately for Mr. McConnell, he was asked before Donald Trump sent out a tweet created on a neo-Nazi site that was an attempt to smear Hillary Clinton with an anti-Semitic rant. As a result, the GOP Majority Leader didn't have to hide behind the Trump campaign's desperate attempted-explanation that the image was really just a sheriff's badge, that's all, not a Star of David. (After making sure to delete the Tweet first, though...) Other Republican's have been just as silent, showing their moral courage. Though I suppose there are only so many times your party can avoid supporting or even just defending your candidate and only answer, "Let's leave it to the voters to decide" without it sticking in your craw.
And finally, what this all translates to we can see in two polls. One from Reuters that has Hillary Clinton up by 13 points, and a poll from the Associated Press-Washington Post which confirms those results and has Secretary Clinton up by 12 points.
To be clear, we don't elect the president by a general vote, so these results are borderline meaningless. And they're five months before the election, when neither candidate is even their party's official nominee yet, so they're even more meaningful. But -- they're certainly not the results the Republican Party wants, and are not going in the direction they'd want either.
So much can change between now and then. Donald Trump could certainly turn things around. But if I had to bet, what will change is that the public will get even more appalled by Donald Trump the more they see him, and be aghast that this poor excuse for a human being is the Republican Party nominee to be President of the United States.
And that wraps the Trump holiday weekend...