On Sunday, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver gave perhaps the best description so far of Donald Trump's tenuous relationship with the Republican establishment.
"Trump and the Republican establishment are like a teenage Christian couple who've made an abstinence pledge," Oliver said. "They are going to have sex. It is just a matter of time. But they still need to make a big show of resisting it for anyone who might be paying attention."
In this segment, Oliver was describing the most recent exchange between Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has held back from endorsing the billionaire. But as Oliver noted, the GOP establishment and Trump need each other — Republican leaders acknowledge that the party needs to unite around their candidate (Trump), and Trump now wants the party's money for his campaign.
But the comparison is so brilliant because it really describes Trump's relationship with the Republican Party since he got into the race. For about a year, Trump led all the polls in the primaries. Yet every step of the way, a major chunk of the establishment did everything it could to resist him — propping up Jeb Bush, then Marco Rubio, then Ted Cruz and even John Kasich. It never worked, as Trump won primary after primary and dominated in the polls.
At the time, the Republican establishment really did want an alternative to Trump. But in retrospect, it sure looks like they were resisting the inevitable — making a pledge to abstinence that everyone knew they couldn't keep for much longer.