In most electoral campaigns that go sour, the panic-driven fission doesn’t achieve critical mass until the mid-to-late autumn. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is already there, and it’s only August.

Trump has shown himself to be incapable of strategically retreating from losing fights, and his feud with a Gold Star family of a Muslim Bronze Star recipient followed this pattern. As the terrible news cycles mounted and Trump’s Republican allies began openly expressing their dissatisfaction with the course on which their party’s presidential nominee was set, the Trump campaign began to reveal how unstable a compound it was.

Late Monday night, sources within the Trump campaign revealed to reporters that two aides close to the candidate had been fired. Ed Brookover, a long-time GOP strategist, and Jimmy Stracner, Trump’s Western regional political director, got the axe “in what three sources described as a shakeup,” Politico reported. Campaign “shakeups” are usually signs that the vehicle has hit the skids, the driver knows it, and is seeking to get back on track. Chaos, however, is the constant state of the Trump campaign. For that reason alone, presumably, few made much of these high-profile dismissals.

It soon became clear that this erratic behavior wasn’t a sober-minded restructuring effort that the Trump campaign’s dedicated operatives would welcome. “Manafort not challenging (Trump) anymore,” said a close associate of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, according to reporting by CNBC’s John Harwood. “Mailing it in. Staff suicidal.” NBC News reporter Ali Vitali later confirmed this revelation, also citing a Trump campaign source, who told her “it’s all true” and “way worse than people realize.” Manafort’s alleged state of composure should be taken with a large grain of salt. What is compelling in this reporting is that several Trump staffers are revealing to journalists the extent of the downward spiral in which Trump campaign finds itself.

“This election is going to be decided by outside events,” an unnamed Trump advisor told the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman and S.V. Date. “If, that is, we can figure out how to get the candidate to use them.” Hope is not a strategy. Hoping for unfortunate circumstances to befall the nation to save the candidate from himself is ghoulish.

Amid all this chaos and disunity, the Republican National Committee is contemplating revolt, albeit far too late for such sentiments to matter. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is reportedly “apoplectic” over Trump’s attacks on Senators John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, and over his refusal to support House Speaker Paul Ryan’s reelection. Priebus reportedly made several calls to Trump HQ to express his “extreme displeasure.”

All the while, Republicans are starting to abandon ship. Former California gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman will vote for Hillary Clinton in November. So, too, will Republican Rep. Richard Hanna. They may be the leaks that portend the dam’s bursting. “Republicans now say Mr. Trump’s obstinacy in addressing perhaps the gravest crisis of his campaign may trigger drastic defections within the party,” the New York Times reported, “and Republican lawmakers and strategists have begun to entertain abandoning him en masse.”

To add a note of farce to this tragedy, ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl reported on Wednesday morning that RNC officials are openly speculating about how they can replace Trump on the ballot if he abdicates his role as the party’s presidential nominee. “He is so unpredictable right now, they are so unable to control his message that they just don’t know, and they clearly think it is a possibility, which is why they’re looking at these rules,” Karl reported.

Donald Trump’s style of management encourages and fosters chaos, so it should surprise no one that his campaign is typified by organizational mess. If GOP officeholders and the Republican National Committee are getting cold feet now after extending to Trump so much undue leeway and sacrificing their credibility in the process, that’s too bad. They’ve made their bed. What is concerning in Trump’s attacks on sympathetic targets and friendlies is his demonstrated willingness to take the party down with him in November. That is a threat that Republicans should take seriously, and they should lay the groundwork to contain the fallout from a Trump loss now while they still can.

The Trumplosion has only just begun. With 96 days remaining until the election, there is every reason to believe the situation for Republicans will get worse before it improves. The GOP cannot say it wasn’t warned.

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