Republicans can no longer kid themselves into thinking that teleprompters can rescue Trump from himself, or themselves from him. He read his speech Monday from prepared text as well, and showed he can be just as odious as when he ad-libs. His scripts, it turns out, are sometimes just transcribed versions of the improvised comments McConnell finds so politically damaging.
If McConnell’s support for Trump is equivocal in any way, it’s contingent not on Trump’s views, but on his ability or willingness to express them in politically anodyne ways. After Monday, McConnell and other Republican leaders can either state their support for Trump without hesitation, or rescind their support entirely. But they can’t claim they want to wait and see if Trump can adopt a better message. Monday’s speech told the tale: his considered comments are just as obscene and incoherent as his extemporaneous ones.