The real campaign begins
Does anyone doubt that this is merely the first of many equally effective attacks? Trump has provided material for hundreds of them. The anti-Trump Republicans' confused, dithering, floundering response to him has done nothing to prepare him for what a determined and unified Democratic party machine is going to do. He's playing in the big leagues now.
On the Republican side, Trump attempted a foreign-policy speech of his own, which came out so disjointed that Lindsey Graham wondered, "Are we sure the guy running the teleprompter has the pages in the right order?" But this, of course, was a mere sideshow to the Trumpstravaganza over Judge Gonzalo Curiel which has consumed everyone's attention for the last few days. Just as Republicans were beginning to unify, reluctantly, around their repellent nominee, his sudden re-eruption of verbal diarrhea has them once again scrambling for the exits. Hugh Hewitt, for one, fully sees the disaster.
(As an aside, after the media began pointing out that Curiel was born in Indiana, I saw a couple of comments on one Republican forum along the lines of "Get your facts straight -- he's from India, not Mexico." If these people were any dumber, you'd have to water them.)
They seem to have been hoping that Trump had a less-insane, more "Presidential" persona hidden away which would manifest itself for the general campaign. Now they know that this is all there is. The next five months will be as full of insults, gaffes, feuds, and general outrages as the last ten -- perhaps worse, as the man rages at the Democrats' non-stop exposure of his past stupidity and viciousness. They know he's not only going to lose, but drag the rest of the party down with him.
Some Republicans are again speculating hopefully about some convention-rules maneuver that could take the nomination away from Trump and deliver it to someone else. I doubt this will happen, for two reasons. First, they'll never be able to agree on a single replacement candidate. Cruz, Ryan, Romney, Kasich, Rubio, and several others have their fervent supporters and their bitter opponents. Second, the Trumpanzees would go berserk if their man is "robbed", and bolt the party, ensuring a landslide defeat and very likely a permanent split. At every stage, the Republican opposition to Trump has been feeble, incoherent, and cowardly. The best bet is that it will continue to be so, preferring to endure the grinding misery of the Trump fiasco rather than take firm action against him and face the explosive consequences.
I hope this is the case. The downside of the Trump clown-with-a-mean-streak show is that we've still got five months of anxiety ahead of us until Hillary finally puts this menace away once and for all. The upside is, after that, we're going to hang this millstone around the neck of the Republicans and conservatism forever. They will always be the party and movement that nominated Trump, the party and movement whose leaders mostly backed him even after it had long been clear what he was. The more tightly we can bind that millstone to them all, the better.