The new GOP strategy for Trump: Leave him alone

“I think that the party donors, the party leaders, need to take a deep breath and put down the sharp objects,” Jindal said. “Get away from the window ledges. The reality is this: The voters will decide who our nominee is. They will decide who the president is. Anybody who tries to clear the field, anybody who tries to pick our nominee — there’ll be a backlash against that. I think Donald Trump has tapped into a powerful sentiment amongst voters, the sense that things don’t change in Washington, D.C. no matter who you elect.”

Jindal was giving voice to a new conventional wisdom. There is no obvious upside in shaming Donald Trump. It is safer for a candidate to praise his voters, attack the media and hope that if the Trump piñata bursts, the best candy falls into his lap.

“This was more of an inquisition than it was a debate,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” criticizing the grilling Trump got from Fox News moderators. “At the end of the day, ask the man a question that explains his position and his solutions rather than a ten-minute question that describes him as the biggest bastard on the planet.”