Of all the absurd claims about the riot at the American Capitol, the most absurd is the notion that it was a "visit by tourists." How has it come to this? Thomas Edsall writes:
Immediately after the riot, support for President Donald Trump fell sharply among Republicans, according to surveys conducted by Kevin Arceneaux of Sciences Po Paris and Rory Truex of Princeton.
The drop signaled that Republicans would have to pay a price for the Trump-inspired insurrection, the violent spirit of which was captured vividly by Peter Baker and Sabrina Tavernise of The Times:
The pure savagery of the mob that rampaged through the Capitol that day was breathtaking, as cataloged by the injuries inflicted on those who tried to guard the nation’s elected lawmakers. One police officer lost an eye, another the tip of his finger. Still another was shocked so many times with a Taser gun that he had a heart attack. They suffered cracked ribs, two smashed spinal disks and multiple concussions. At least 81 members of the Capitol force and 65 members of the Metropolitan Police Department were injured.
Yet, within a week, Republican politicians changed their tune:
Arceneaux and Truex, in their paper “Donald Trump and the Lie,” point out that Republican voter identification with Trump had “rebounded to pre-election levels” by Jan. 13. The authors measured identification with Trump by responses to two questions: “When people criticize Donald Trump, it feels like a personal insult,” and “When people praise Donald Trump, it makes me feel good.
The same pattern emerged in the Republican Party’s favorability ratings, which dropped by 13 points between the beginning and the end of January, but gained 11 points back by April, according to surveys by the NBC/Wall Street Journal.
Elected Republicans have simply followed the mob. And the mob will follow Trump to the gates of hell and beyond. They believe their shared brotherhood represents paradise itself -- because he and they hate the same things. From their perspective, January was just another visit by tourists.
They are, simply put, damned.