The Republicans want Trump gone, and don't know how to do it. Trump is backing them into a branding corner. The R's have been desperate to seem relevant in the modern age, where support of their ideals like demonizing sex (criminalizing gays, banning abortion and birth control, etc.) are no longer desired. They don't want to give up their beliefs, they just want to be more subtle about it, so people that are looking for an alternative to the Democrats can overlook the ickier stuff. After all, who else is ther to turn to, the Libertariams? (I'm familiar with DragonCon and how one of its founders used legal trickery to stay out of court. The name of one of the runners on the LP ticket in 2008 (I don't remember which off the top of my head), Wayne Root or Bob Barr, appears on the guy's legal defense team. That day was the end of me ever supporting the Libertarian Party. They talk about ethics. Ethics shmethics.) But the Mitt Romney campaign of 2012 taught them a harsh lesson -- "Anyone but the guy currently in charge" doesn't work anymore. Obama's ratings have been consistently bad (the increase from the wins for Obamacare and marriage equality have pretty much vanished by now), and they still couldn't beat him. Because people don't trust the R's to do anything more than give lip service while advancing their own agenda. True, the R's handling of Project ORCA didn't help, but as soon as Mittens said, "Binders full of women," stick a fork in his ass and turn him over, he's done.
Trump's candidacy is dangerous because Trump is cementing the party and its values in the minds of the general populous. If this keeps up, it doesn't matter who becomes the R nominee, people will remember the things Trump said and associate that with whoever is running. Trump has spun a call from the R chairman as being told he's doing a great job and doubling down on his comments about illegals. He's going out with a bang, not a whimper. I say he's going out because he won't win the nomination, and he's not a real candidate anyway. (Stay tuned, I'm getting there.)
The R's brought this on themselves with those accursed weekend warrior activists, the Tea Partiers. Back in 2010, when they attempted to co-opt the Tea Partiers, they suddenly found these outsiders taking control of the party and its message. The R's realized they couldn't control them, and they had to go. They have spent the last three years forcing the Tea Partiers out, including one very scary challenge to Mitch McConnell (I talk a lot of shit about him, but if you look at his voting record, he actually has a decent stance on civil rights, especially compared to his Tea Party challenger. Him being replaced with someone from The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight gave me night sweats). The R's thought they could breathe easy after 2014 flushed all but a handful out of the party. But they forgot the lesson of Mittens and went back to their demagogary instead of forging a new identity. There were plenty of signs they needed one, as the revolt by every female R over the abortion bill proves, but they just said what they've always said and didn't try to shore anything up. As a result, it made it easy for another demagogue to step in and hijack the party signal. You can't get anywhere in politics without money. Tea Partiers don't have money. Trump does.
Now, when I say Trump isn't a real candidate (toldja I'd get to it), that's not speculation. The proof is in his campaign filings. Or lack thereof. He has yet to turn in his finance records with the FEC, which means he can be barred from debates and ballots. Trump is making money and deals off of this, and doesn't want those supporting him and enabling this to know they are being had. He is in the race to promote his business, not to win. The turmoil this is hitting the R's with is just collateral damage. But Trump is out to win. As long as he does well, it doesn't matter what happens to anyone else.
So what is going to happen? Well, simply put, Trump will do himself in. Like I said, Trump's Narcissism Mode is on and turned up to 11. And there is a very vocal section cheering him on. This will feed back on itself, and sooner or later, Trump, instead of playing the PR game, is going to say something that goes too far. It has brought down big candidates, like Mitten's cheap shot that people on welfare will automatically vote for Obama. it has brought down small candidates, like Howard Dean who got so caught up in celebrating his victory during the 2004 primaries that he wound up looking like a loon on stage. The Sword Of Damocles is dangling over his head, the thread stretched like mozerrella on a pizza, and that hairpiece will be powerless to stop it once it drops.
All we have to do is wait.
And laugh when it comes crashing down.