Why the GOP establishment is pretending to warm to Donald Trump

Over the past week or so, a belief has begun to gain real traction that the Republican Party “establishment” has warmed to the possibility of Donald Trump as its presidential nominee. This is predicated on the scenario that the nomination comes down to Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, whom Republican leaders personally dislike and consider unelectable to boot.

A central figure in the Trump-acceptance movement is former presidential nominee and Senate majority leader Bob Dole, the erstwhile Republican establishment standard-bearer who is now just another elderly person in Kansas. Dole, the New York Times reports, warned of “cataclysmic” and “wholesale losses” if Cruz wins the nomination. Trump, by contrast, could stop Cruz, and if he wins the general election, could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.”

Is this really how they feel? Or is it just a means of stopping the immediate problem: an Iowa victory fro Cruz, who led the state’s polling just long enough to solidify the conventional wisdom that he needs to win it?