If we question why it seems so hard for Republican presidential candidates to speak with authority as to why Donald Trump is damaging the party and not good for the nation we need to keep in mind that it is also somehow hard for others in the GOP to speak out clearly on the matter.
This weekend I was rather surprised to see the elder statesman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, former Governor Tommy Thompson, not speak more forthrightly about Trump. Appearing on UpFront With Mike Gousha it was clear that a direct and candid answer was not something Thompson was interested in giving about the current leader in the presidential contest.
The former leader of this state did comment twice that he firmly believed Trump would not be the eventual nominee. Most lucid-minded people think the same thing. But when pressed by the host to answer who would get his vote should the contest be between Hillary Clinton and Trump there was a strong statement that Thompson would vote Republican.
I fully understand the reason that people tied to a political party answer in that fashion. I could vote for Joe Biden as easily as Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. I know that Thompson could have easily said the same about Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or a list of others running for the nomination.
But Donald Trump is simply an embarrassment with no substance on the issues that deservers nothing short of repudiation. There must come a time when the seasoned and respected establishment within the Republican Party stands up and makes it known that what played out this summer was nothing short of absurd and can not continue.
In short, the Republican Party needs a Sister Souljah moment. Gousha had teed up the question so Thompson could have once more scored for the party who he has long supported and worked with. But Thompson bunted the ball.
At some point very soon the adults in the GOP will need to once again drive the bus and a real contest for the nomination must get underway. I was hoping when the questions by Gousha started that this would be the moment when such a line in the sand was drawn. After all, Thompson is someone who has respect on both sides of the aisle and can still command attention when he wants to say something of importance.
Had Thompson given the answer about Trump that I know he truly feels it would have shown that he may be older but no less a leader.