Tom Scocca, writing at Slate:
The Trump era (and American history, of which it is a part) has been defined by a stubborn, fretful failure to call things what they are. Bribery, ethnic cleansing, kidnapping, murder—surely the president didn’t really do these things. He couldn’t have meant them that way. Not seriously, or not literally.
Seriously, literally, actually: On January 6, at the president’s direction, the constitutionally scheduled process for the transfer of power was interrupted by violence. By night, police had cleared the building, and Congress set out to try again.
The “peaceful transfer of power” is one of those hallmarks of American democracy (a similarly comforting, nebulous, slightly trite, but ultimately enduring feature of our government) that I’ve never felt the need to question. Trump’s term as president could end no other way.