The practical effects of the fascist occupation of the U.S. Capitol building were quickly undone. The symbols it left behind are indelible.
A Confederate flag waved in triumph in the halls of a building never taken by Jefferson Davis. Guns drawn to protect the floor of the House of Representatives from violent attack. A cloddish barbarian in the presiding officer’s chair. The desecration of democracy under the banner “Jesus Saves.”
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The coming weeks will see a gradually arriving reckoning. Political leaders who sought access and influence over the past four years through a political alliance with insurrectionists and domestic terrorists are responsible for unleashing insurrectionists and domestic terrorists. This is true of some Federalist Society conservatives, who cared only about judicial appointments. It is true of some economic conservatives, focused only on tax and regulatory policy. And it is true, above all, of Trump evangelicals, who sought to recover lost social influence through the cynical embrace of corrupt power.
Gerson is correct: Wednesday’s mayhem is who the Evangelical Right really is. They are not part of the decent, educated world; they are who the decent, educated world has been fighting for uncountable millennia.
They mewl piteously about religious freedom — and support a man who proposes religious tests as a condition of entry to the United States. They claim to have birthed America’s ideals and to love the Constitution — and spread feces through the halls of the world’s oldest Constitutional government.