Veteran Republican strategist and MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cannot understand why Republicans are protecting a clearly lawless president.

As the investigation into Russia breaks new ground, Donald Trump and his allies are ramping up their baseless attacks on the FBI and senior Justice Department officials for allowing it to continue.

And the lack of any meaningful reaction from Republicans in Congress is reprehensible.

On MSNBC, Nicolle Wallace — communications director for George W. Bush and senior campaign adviser to John McCain in 2008 — laid out the absurdity of the GOP accepting Trump’s self-serving tantrums, even when he goes after their own:

WALLACE: Let me put this to you one more time: are Republicans dead inside? What is wrong with — why don’t Republicans care that a Republican-led Justice Department, a Republican-led FBI, led by men appointed by Donald Trump, is being smeared and the character of the men leading those agencies assassinated by people associated with the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party?

Former Congressional Budget Office director Doug Holtz-Eakin responded with the elephant in the room. “I think that in every one of these situations, there’s a very simple transactional element which is, he is the president of the United States. We want to get some things done.”

“Getting a tax bill done is more important than finding out if Russia meddled in the 2016 election?” replied Wallace.

But it does indeed seem to be. Since Trump is one of their own, the idea that Russian operatives helped him win is of little concern to most of the GOP.

As long as Republicans get to pass their tax scam and appoint radical right-wing judges to the federal courts, they seem disinclined to give Trump’s behavior any real scrutiny — even as he trashes their own and undermines vital institutions. And so far there appears to be no limit to this.

Holtz-Eakin added that Republicans do not want to “poke the bear” and antagonize such an unstable person. “If you were to question him — you know, everything’s personal. He’s going to fire up the Twitter. You’re going to lose the key votes you need to get it over the finish line.”

“Why are they afraid of his Twitter feed?” exclaimed Wallace. “Jesus Christ. The men in the Republican Party are terrified of it? That is the most pathetic thing I’ve heard all year!”

Wallace’s shock would be shared by anyone from any other era of American life. The reality we now face — of an insecure, brittle egomaniac in the White House who makes ugly personal attacks on the fly, and an entire party of lawmakers living in fear of displeasing him — is farcical.

And it is up to us as voters to correct it.