As Donald Trump racked up victories—including Nevada—and alarmed Republican leaders tried to figure out how to rescue their party from him, Nevada’s Harry Reid has been doing all he can to nail the GOP to a Trump cross, often using the Republican refusal to approve an Obama supreme court nominee to make the point. As late as Feb. 15, in an essay he wrote for the Washington Post, Reid linked the Republican Party to both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump: “Are the cheering of Trump’s crowds or the adulation of Sen. Cruz’s acolytes worth sacrificing your basic constitutional duty?”
But as Trump has appeared more unstoppable, Reid has narrowed his focus to Trump. Samples:
• “As each day passes, the Republican leader [Mitch McConnell] continues to transform his caucus into the party of Donald Trump” (March 9).
• “Republicans have spent the last eight years stoking the fires of resentment and hatred, building Trump piece by piece. … The reality is that Republican leaders are reaping what they’ve sown” (March 2).
• “They think that they’re going to wait and see what President Trump will do, I guess, as far as a [Supreme Court] nomination. … They’re all agreeing with Trump in one way or another” (March 1).
Republican leaders are in the delicate position of trying to dump Trump while at the same time preserving enough elbow room to turn around and support him if he becomes the party’s nominee.