Alicia Machado reacts as she is crowned Miss Universe by the 1995 winner, Chelsi Smith, at the Miss Universe competition in Las Vegas in 1996. (Eric Draper/Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton might want to dig out of the vault her “3 a.m. phone call” ad from 2008, wherein she argued that the then-freshman senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, wasn’t prepared to deal with international emergencies:

This ad from Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign implied that Barack Obama wasn't equipped to deal with international emergencies. (Hillary Clinton 2008)

 

The question now may be: Do you want Donald Trump up at 3 a.m. tweeting crazy stuff? That’s precisely what he did (starting with a 3:20 a.m. tweet):

“Anytime you see a story about me or my campaign saying ‘sources said,’ DO NOT believe it. There are no sources, they are just made up lies!”

“Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an ‘angel’ without checking her past, which is terrible!”

“Using Alicia M in the debate as a paragon of virtue just shows that Crooked Hillary suffers from BAD JUDGEMENT! Hillary was set up by a con.”

“Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?”

His invitation for Americans to go look at a “sex tape” is beyond bizarre and may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of his campaign. This is plainly a man unhinged, unable to accept his defeat in the debate and — tweeting in the middle of the night — lacking any impulse control.

It’s impossible to imagine that this won’t dominate the news for at least a few days and come up in the next debate. The Clinton camp’s best course here is to be very, very quiet as Trump self-destructs.

This archive video from 1997 shows Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with his now outspoken critic, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. (Reuters)

For the evangelical “leaders” who backed him, this is the latest humiliation, confirming that they lack a moral center or any discernible standards. They now support a man urging fellow Americans to go watch a sex tape.

For Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan, his self-made predicament gets worse. Is he really going to tell us this man is fit to be president?

This was, of course, precisely what #NeverTrump Republicans warned would happen: An emotionally unstable, raging narcissist would suffer some type of public breakdown, confirming the gross malfeasance of the Republican National Committee and the foolishness of his backers.

Just about every possible option is now on the table. Trump could decide not to attend the next debate. That could start a GOP effort to get him to step down. Conservative independent Evan McMullin could present himself as a viable alternative to save the party. Or Trump could take the GOP down the tubes in an election that was eminently winnable — until the party nominated a lunatic.