When Donald Trump gloated that "the shackles have been taken off me," I immediately wondered, how was he shackled?
Was that the shackled Trump, for example, who obsessively attacked Judge Gonzalo Curiel in May, Khizr Khan and his family in July and Alicia Machado in September?
No, Trump actually was putting a defiant face on a stunning event in American political history: He, the Republican Party's nominee for president, was getting a cold shoulder from the party's highest ranking member in the House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan.
With less than a month to go until Election Day, Ryan announced that he was washing his hands of the monumental task of defending Trump. The break apparently followed the release of an embarrassing 2005 "Access Hollywood' video. In it, Trump happily boasts about doing what amounts to sexual assault.
In fact, had there been some restraints on Trump, his whole campaign might actually give Democrat Hillary Clinton some competition again. Instead, Trump's "unshackled" state is looking increasingly unhinged.