Donald is not an outlier of the Republican Party, but its unfiltered id. Despite claims to the contrary, many GOP elites have expressed concerns about Donald not because his policies are fundamental departures from mainstream Republican policy, but because he eschews the typical dog whistles in favor of a bullhorn. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just confirmed it.

First McConnell refused to say whether Donald is qualified to be President. He hedged by saying Donald has “made a number of mistakes” and “the burden obviously will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job.”

That was the first peek into what’s really undergirding the hesitation about Donald. It’s not that he is an unrepentant bigot who advocates terrible policy, but that he has simply made “mistakes” and needs to convince voters that he’s competent.

In a subsequent interview, McConnell mused:

Trump clearly needs to change, in my opinion, to win the general election. What I’ve said to him both publicly and privately: ‘You’re a great entertainer. You turn on audiences. You’re good before a crowd. You have a lot of Twitter followers. That worked fine for you in the primaries. But now that you are in the general, people are looking for a level of seriousness that is typically conveyed by having a prepared text and Teleprompter and staying on message.’ So my hope is that he is beginning to pivot and become what I would call a more serious and credible candidate for the highest office in the land.

Nothing about his espoused policies. Nothing about his expressed bigotry. Instead, McConnell is uniquely concerned with Donald’s presentation. He’s a great showman, but he’s got to tone it down to be taken seriously.

Donald’s credibility with Republican elites isn’t predicated on ditching policies like building a border wall, banning Muslims, or punishing abortion doctors. It’s predicated only on using a Teleprompter.

Which frankly says as much about their credibility as it does about his.

Whatever the rationale behind it, there’s something jaw-dropping about the Republican Senate Majority Leader questioning the seriousness and credibility of his own Party’s nominee.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)