A slew of publications from across the ideological spectrum are calling for Republican candidates and leaders to launch a resolute effort to stop Donald Trump.
"THE UNTHINKABLE is starting to look like the inevitable: Absent an extraordinary effort from people who understand the menace he represents, Donald Trump is likely to be the presidential nominee of the Republican Party," declared the Washington Post in an op-ed on Wednesday evening.
"At this stage, even an extraordinary effort might fall short. But history will not look kindly on GOP leaders who fail to do everything in their power to prevent a bullying demagogue from becoming their standard-bearer," the publication continued.
Pointing out Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus' assertion that a Trump victory in November will supersede the "bigotry and ugliness" of the billionaire's campaign, the post argued that it is now up to the leaders of the party to decide if winning the presidency is enough to overlook Trump's many sins.
"So it falls to other leaders to decide if their party will stand for anything other than winning. A political party, after all, isn't meant to be merely a collection of consultants, lobbyists and functionaries angling for jobs," said the op-ed. "It is supposed to have principles: in the Republican case, at least as we have always understood it, to include a commitment to efficient government, free markets and open debate."
National Review staff writer, Charles C.W. Cooke called for an "anti-Trump Manhattan Project" to take out the candidate in another op-ed.
"Now is the time to throw everything at Trump, and to stop this disaster in its tracks. Will our children wonder why we were so reluctant?" wrote Cooke.
He said Republican presidential rivals Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas should do everything in their power to destroy Trump during the CNN Republican debate scheduled for Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET, in Houston.
"Incidentally, when I say 'everything,' I really do mean everything. Tomorrow night [Thursday], as they stand on either side of Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz must find their resolve and all-but-machine-gun the man to the floor," wrote Cooke.
"Without breaks for water or silence for applause, they must explain that Trump is an entitled mess whose business record is so questionable that he managed to bankrupt a casino; that he is an unashamed fraud who didn't even wait to be elected president before folding on Planned Parenthood and Obamacare, exactly like the 'feckless' Congress he is running against; that he is feigning religiosity to appeal to people he believes are rubes; and, above all, that whatever he may be pretending now, he has spent a lifetime screwing the little guy," he continued.
"They must repeat verbatim his previous words on amnesty; they must outline in detail how his policies will make life worse for everyone; and they must point out that a Trump nomination designed to 'mix things up' will result, eventually, in more of the same," he added.
This reactions came amid reports that conservative big donors decided not to mount a campaign against Trump and Rubio saying he plans to go after Cruz and not Trump in Thursday night's debate.
This news about Rubio had conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat incensed.
"So what is Rubio waiting for? What is his campaign thinking?
"... There isn't going to be a long wintry war of attrition against Trump for Rubio; the time for that is gone.
"If Rubio realizes that this endgame looms, you could argue that his 'hold, hold, hold …' strategy is actually far cockier than his shrinking-violet approach this week suggests," he wrote.
Ben Domenech, editor of the conservative email newsletter The Transom, agreed.
"Now, going after Trump in Trumpian terms is a risk. But he's on track to win anyway. ...
"Losers whine about lane clearing. Winners beat Trump," he wrote.