Rank and file Republicans are rapidly approaching decision time: Is their dislike for Democrats – Barack Obama, in particular – going to lead them into allowing Donald Trump (depicted above) to destroy their chances of electing a Republican president, 11 months from now?
If the leadership of the party permits him to dominate the early primaries, THEN they try to cobble together a Stop Trump coalition, in March or April, it may be too late to avoid a virtual bloodbath in November.
Not so much too late to stop Trump from getting the nomination, which I suspect he can't accomplish. No. Too late to keep his poisonous bluster from dooming the GOP to losing not only the White House, but also control of Congress.
The all-out battle to run Trump out of the Republican Party needs start now. In my view it's a campaign that needs to have been won before springtime sets in. His threat to go third party simply must be laughed off. If Trump wants to spend millions of his own money, just to punish Republicans and win nothing, let him do it.
No doubt Trump will continue to make such threats, but will he really follow though? Plus, reaping-what-you-sow-wise, it's fair to say the Republicans have it coming to them. The extreme rhetoric of their more vociferous, mean-spirited spokespersons in recent years surely set the table for an opportunist like Trump to do exactly what he's been doing.
If the leaders of that movement to drive Trump off do face the music, ASAP, and succeed in a timely fashion, they will look like brave heroes to many people – not just reasonable Republicans, but a lot of people who follow politics. On the other hand, if Republican leaders remain scared of Trump's bluster -- imagine his speech at the convention -- the losses their party could sustain in November could set some new records.