A lot of history being made Wednesday night. A president, become a modern-day Caligula, abuses the trust given his office, incites a mob – then, in the wake of that mob’s seizure of Capitol Building corridors, offers a supposedly calming video during which he says he loves the “patriots,” then repeats his fantasies of a “stolen election.” and his imagined “landslide.”
He then went to Twitter with this: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long.” (After which Twitter locked his account and threatened to may remove it permanently.)
This bizarre disruption did not stop the work of a joint Congress, gathered to approve the electoral college count, but it did strip away any illusions about our 45th president.
What we’ve seen since November 3 — the phone call to Georgia’s secretary of state, the bundle of lies/conspiracies/fantasies gathered from the dark corners of social media and his own deranged state of mind — show us the real 45 and underlies the great fortune of this democracy that he will leave the White House in 14 days.
That is one blessing from this wretched day. The other is that no mob of unhinged Trumpites was able, in the end, to stop the Constitutional process that will make Joe Biden our next President.
But it’s also a day of warning, that this democracy is more fragile than we had imagined. That’s on us — its continuity, its future, its being always there. On us.