The Republican establishment — once seen as the force that would destroy Donald Trump’s outsider candidacy — is now learning to live with it, with some elected and unelected leaders saying they see an upside to Trump as the nominee.Trump's positions are really not that much different than the Establishment and if they think they can "live with him," it means they can control him on issues that are important to them. And they have never really gone after Trump.
In the past few days, Trump has received unlikely public praise from GOP luminaries who said they would prefer him to his main rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
In private, some veteran conservative Republicans have been reaching out to Trump. And Trump himself called the ultimate establishment figure in Washington, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, for a talk late last year.
“If it came down to Trump or Cruz, there is no question I’d vote for Trump,” said former New York mayor and 2008 presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has not endorsed a candidate. “As a party, we’d have a better chance of winning with him, and I think a lot of Republicans look at it that way.”
As Nate Silver notes:
[S]o far, the party isn’t doing much to stop Trump. Instead, it’s making such an effort against Cruz. Consider:-RW