If you lay down in the dirt with dogs, you get fleas.
Trump has long been an ill-mannered loud-mouthed blustering boor and he has consistently publicly conducted himself disgracefully since he rose to national attention decades ago. Nothing he has done during this campaign should come as a shock to anyone.
The GOP can't just suddenly claim Trump is a bad guy if they've been kissing his gold plated derriere for the last 3 decades. If only the GOP had quite pandering to this oaf after he started pushing his birther non-sense, they would have minimized the damage that he's capable of inflicting on them; he'd be just another crackpot with an off-shore account. But they didn't do that. They invited him in after he repeatedly demonstrated his inability to conduct himself with civility or composure.
Lindsey Graham liked Trump so much he even gave Trump his personal cell phone number... of course that was before Trump ran against him for the Oval Office and turned his fire on other Republicans.
Previously Lindsey Graham once compared Obama to Neville Chamberlain; a thing I find quite humorous in an ironic way. ( I'm not comparing Trump to Hitler, by the way. Deep down I think Trump is just a rich entitled version of Archie Bunker.) They pandered to this guy, invited him in, placated his wild conspiracy theory claims all because of the short term benefit of disgracing the sitting president without once bothering to question the wisdom of inviting this absolute retch into their midst.
Were he to obtain the highest office it would be one of the most shameful periods of American History but I'm not really worried about that. The fact that a quarter of the GOP's own constituency do not recognize this beast of bad manners for the disgrace that he is is a tribute to the broken nature of the fools that have run the once good name of the Republican party into the ground so absolutely soundly that I doubt any combination of persons will be able to make them into a functional body ever again. They've poisoned their supporter's minds against reason for short term gains, appealed to ignorance at nearly every turn, embraced political barbarism over civilized governance, hung out to dry some of the GOP's best and brightest for failing to capitulate to their worst pursuits and in the end have made the party of Lincoln into an internationally known confederacy of fools.
The Republican spin on Trump's behavior is that Trump is somehow tapping in to the pent up anger of conservative voters ...that Trump is in fact a kind of trash talking soothsayer of righteous indignation.
I don't believe this is the case at all.
I believe that Republicans identify with Trump because the GOP has conditioned them to identify with badly behaving politicians so long as those politicians claim the GOP, claim to hate the IRS and simultaneously denounce societal progress. They don't have to have good policy ideas, they just have to state their positions loudly.
The GOP has exploited Trump's willingness to say incredibly obnoxious things publicly prior to this because those comments have been directed mostly at others. This is a cautionary tale that the GOP should have learned by now but seem painfully oblivious to even the dimmest foresight: The enemy of your Enemy is NOT necessarily your friend. He's just another guy with his own agenda.
Prior to Trump's candidacy, they were more than willing to line up and kiss his ring and this has been disastrous as anyone can presently see. Plausible deniability as to the Trump fiasco set sail a long, long time ago and now they are stuck with him. The GOP's leadership has made this itchy little self-immolating bed of short-sighted alliances so now they can lay down and sleep in it. Trump makes a reference about Megyn Kelly being bloody and they feigned indignity. Where was all that righteous indignation when Trump was quite ridiculously and transparently dishonestly claiming he possessed incontrovertible evidence that the present leader of the free world was an illegal alien supported by a grand conspiracy that dated back decades? I'll tell you where Trump was: being wined and dined by the same people complaining about him now.
I feel no sympathy for the GOP's Trump problem and unbelievably growing image problem. All I have left for them is an uneasy mixed sense of schadenfreude and disgust.