The stab in the back
Well, this is what happens when you nominate a cross between Benito Mussolini and the Three Stooges for the Presidency. And we still have three more months of Trump setting off self-immolating rhetorical explosions at the rate of one or two a week. In any normal cycle, a candidate calling the sitting President the founder of ISIL would have been the shocker of the year; but compared with Trump's "Second Amendment people" dog-whistle, his feud with Khizr Khan, etc., etc., etc., it's almost yawn-inducing. The only thing worse than three more months of this will be if he fails to wriggle out of debating Hillary. I mean, just try to imagine the epic disaster that will be.
So Trump will very likely go down to a massive, landslide defeat. What happens then?
Trump himself has already hinted at his own response by claiming the election might be rigged, but that has no credibility except in the eyes of those who are completely unhinged anyway. A few wingnuts have gamely gone back to unskewing polls, but the majority seem to be accepting reality and getting down to the important business of slinging blame around. So far, though, what I'm seeing of this is largely internecine. There are the usual barbs at the "biased liberal media", but mostly the Trumpanzees are blaming the NeverTrumps for not supporting their man, while the NeverTrumps blame the Trumpanzees for nominating such a godawful candidate in the first place. The trend will escalate as more and more prominent Republicans come out against Trump and, as today, even call for the RNC to pull funding from his campaign and redirect it to Congressional candidates who can still be saved. The quixotic candidacy of Evan McMullin, supported by many NeverTrumps, may also be used to blame the "establishment" for the nominee's defeat. All the elements of a Dolchstoßlegende are falling into place.
After the defeat -- especially if it's accompanied by losing the Senate, ensuring easy confirmation for Hillary's Supreme Court picks, and by large Republican losses at other levels -- the wingnuts will be altogether consumed by the rage and fear to which they've always been so prone anyway. The demise of the Republican party has been predicted before, but this time I almost don't see how they can avoid it. There's already tremendous anger and vitriol between the pro- and anti-Trump factions, and once the magnitude of the disaster (from a wingnut perspective) sinks in, it's going to mean civil war.
An ignominious end for what was once the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower -- but it's the end they've now written for themselves.
[Image at top: Today's map at Electoral-Vote.com]