With the GOP congressional leadership's "hope and prayer" strategy for dumping Donald Trump having collapsed, they've moved to the public handwringing and clumsy plotting phase.
Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell waited an astonishing two days to denounce Trump – though not by name — for not denouncing David Duke and the KKK quickly enough. They and Trump seemed less troubled, however, when Louis Farrakhan – Duke's rival as the nation's leading anti-Semite — offered high praise for Trump for refusing to take money from the "Jewish community."
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, number two in the GOP leadership, isn't just uncomfortable with the frontrunner's racism; it's everything else. He fears Trump could be an "albatross" around the necks of several Republican senators up for reelection, costing the GOP its majority, and taking a large toll in the House as well.
They're scared – nay, terrified – of Trump. They can't control him and he ignores them, and if elected they fear he might trample them and make deals (his biggest boast among many) with anyone willing, even Democrats, and leave them out.
They want to stop him at all costs. Well, almost all. So far they've been little more than moaning and groaning. They hate Ted Cruz as much as he hates his fellow Republican senators, and Marco the Robot Rubio comes across as a nebbish having trouble lighting fires across the grassroots.
South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds said he didn't really care whether Trump embraced or denounced Duke and the KKK, he'd still prefer him over any Democrat. He's only saying what most other Republicans are thinking.
If Trump gets the nomination, look for the Republican elites follow in the footsteps of that courageous leader and bridge traffic engineer, Chris Christie, sheepishly offering their endorsements and feeling honored to stand in shadow of Emperor Donald I.