So, yesterday, Donald Trump refused to endorse either Speaker Paul Ryan or Senator John McCain: "In an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday, Trump said he was not backing Ryan in his primary election next Tuesday in Wisconsin, or McCain in his Arizona primary later this month. Both have endorsed Trump but have criticized some of his policies and statements, most recently his belittling of the parents of dead U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan."
And RNC Chair Reince Priebus reportedly went apeshit:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is "apoplectic" over Donald Trump's refusal to back House Speaker Paul Ryan or Sen. John McCain, a top Republican source said.Just to be clear: Reince Priebus has not gone "apoplectic" and called Trump staffers to convey "extreme displeasure" when Trump has engaged in rank racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white nationalism, defense of his then-campaign manager for attacking a reporter, the overseeing of rallies that disintegrated into violence, insults against his primary opponents, calling Hillary Clinton "the devil," or suggesting via his spokesperson that President Obama having changed rules of engagement in military theater "probably" cost Captain Khan his life even, though he was killed four years before Obama took office.
Priebus called several Trump staffers, including campaign manager Paul Manafort, to express his "extreme displeasure" with Trump's comments, the source with knowledge of the conversations told NBC News.
None of that raised Priebus' ire at all, or at least not the way Trump's failure to endorse other Republicans did.
Which sorta proves the point I've been making all along: That Donald Trump is not, in fact, outside the mainstream of Republican beliefs; he's just less circumspect about his bigotry. And that the only real Republican principle anymore is winning.