Until recently, I felt a lot of sympathy for Joe Biden’s reported reluctance to prosecute Donald Trump after he leaves office. We saw last Wednesday what his followers are really like, and there was sound reason to worry about their reaction to criminal prosecution of Trump for sundry offenses: tax evasion, being too friendly with the Russians, exploiting his office for personal gain, on and on.
Perhaps it would be better to just let him fade into the sunset and let tempers cool? After all, that worked with Nixon.
But Trump incited deadly violence against a co-equal branch of government, and did it in order to overturn an election and remain in office. Granted, he made a clumsy job of it — and in the event was cowardly, wasn’t with his marks — and deployed disorganized morons without a plan, but there is no escaping that he stoked an insurrection: He tried to overthrow a lawful election and, implicitly, the government itself.
For that he belongs in prison, whatever the civil price the country must pay.