Jamelle Bouie is not impressed by GOP protestations about Trump's latest outrage:
For all the press they attract, however, their condemnations don’t hide the facts of the matter. Those are still plain to see. For the last year, through Donald Trump, Republicans have shown what they can live with. And what they can live with is a nominee whose chief appeal is his overt, unapologetic racism, and whose plans would remake America into a whites-only country, with suspicion and hostility for those on the other side of the color divide.
Trump himself has said that he could shoot someone in public and not lose any voters. He's probably right.
The GOP is in a real pickle here, and if the fate of the country didn't hang in the balance, it would be a delightful thing to watch. Trump's appalling behavior (which should surprise no one who has been paying any attention) is no longer putting just his own electoral chances at risk. It is now threatening to impact down-ballot Republicans in the House, Senate, and state races. So of course "respectable" Republicans are suddenly running scared.
And also of course, this bed is one entirely of their own making.
Trump's base is going to vote for him no matter what he does, because he speaks overtly to their racism and nativism. Like the Tea Party movement before him, Trump's appeal is not about economic populism, and it is not at its core about anti-establishmentarianism. His appeal sits squarely upon the fact that he is normalizing their fear and resentment of people who aren't white men, and as long as he sticks to that message, those voters will stick with him.
As for the Republicans suddenly shocked and outraged at Trump, this is is pure ass-covering. He's their nominee. They nominated him, they endorsed him, and they have had months' worth of opportunities to disavow and denounce him. They failed to do so because they were afraid of losing the basket-of-deplorables voters he keeps in their party.