The Morning Joe team is so known for their velvet-glove treatment of Donald Trump that Larry Wilmore made a colorful joke about it at the White House Press Correspondents' Dinner--so it's actually kind of a howler for Joe Scarborough to say now that he just can't support Donald Trump unless he "changes his tune":
“I gotta say I was surprised and disappointed … that yesterday, he stuck by the Muslim ban. That’s a loser. It’s a loser with the majority of Americans. And you’ve got Republicans like me. I just, I’m not going to vote for a guy” like that, Scarborough said, according to Politico.
Well, sure. But wouldn't it have been better to just be a little bit surprised and disappointed the first time he said it? And the disappointment--is it that Trump really seems to mean it--or that he keeps saying it out loud where the general election audience can hear? Does he just want Trump to change what he's saying for the general election regardless of what he believes? Oh! I get it! He wants a principled Republican!
This is why I can't take Senators Susan Collins or Kelly Ayotte as having a credible, sensible, or even half-assed stand when they offer their non-endorsement-level support. That isn't a needle you can really thread, is it? When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan bats his baby-blues and juts his manly jaw to say "I am just not ready" to support Donald Trump at this time--isn't he implying he's looking for a reason to be gotten to "yes" by some silver-tongued art of the deal? When the older, grayer heads of the party simply decline to show up, are they withdrawing support--or is it more like they are backing down from fighting for their party's values in the most conspicuous place?
That last ship has probably sailed. I think Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse has been admirably consistent in rejecting what Trump stands for--he'd be a Constitutional nightmare and I think there could be real agreement between left and right on that--but looking for a third-party conservative to rescue Republicans from the disgrace of considering voting for Hillary Clinton on the basis of knowing what she is actually doing and not being a conspiracy-theory-chugging whackaloon is a bit late. There was this thing called a GOP primary where there were 16 other people, all of them with resumes of varying degrees of seriousness. And nobody wanted them more than the people who wanted Trump, wanted Trump. And I noticed how no one put in their strong endorsements for any of the puppies in that slushy sled race. Folks didn't all pile on in Summer of 2015, when it might have counted. And it would have been a lie anyway, because they all applauded secretly when this jackass was calling for Obama's birth certificate and school records back in 2011. They courted his attention. They mainstreamed his ass.
My advice to the GOP is take the knee on the presidency and focus on the down-ticket races, because those poor exposed congress-critters who can't figure out whether they want to support Trump for president or not need all the help they can get. That's my free-of-charge feelings on how to partially handle the Trump Problem, and I doubt you'd get better from experts at any price.
But as a lifelong Democrat, this problem is only my problem if this doofus gets elected, and I already know I'd do anything I can to not let that happen. I wish everyone else saw it that way--but I wouldn't be surprised if any number of Republicans get into that voting booth when it's only them and their conscience and their Maker, if they believe in one, who know a time for choosing when they see it.