At noon tomorrow, our four-year experiment in being governed by the political equivalent of the Insane Clown Posse will finally end. It is ending in Juggalo style (some have called it “Trumpalo”), violently and pointlessly, with a handful of deaths, the smearing of various bodily fluids, and a riot on the way out. After any bacchanal of this magnitude, the sober dawn is almost as disorienting as the hysteria itself—and the most urgent task, after wiping the shit from the Capitol hallways, is to prevent a repeat performance.
First, the Senate must convict Donald Trump. I confess bewilderment that the Senate will have to deliberate at all: Inciting an insurrection that threatens to kidnap and possibly murder members of the Senate (including the vice president of the United States) seems to me the kind of activity the Senate should frown upon. Enemies of Ted Cruz like to point out that Trump called Cruz’s wife a hag and insinuated that his father killed John F. Kennedy, and Cruz cuddled up to Trump anyway. Any senator who excuses his own near lynching by a shirtless, horned shaman will make Cruz’s self-debasement look dignified by comparison.
Second, law enforcement should hunt down and charge all of the insurrectionists, from the flex-cuff guys to the grannies posing for photos. The vigor with which federal prosecutors have been pursuing them proves that the United States has not been corrupted completely. Prisons exist to hold people such as these.