Who is to blame? Who has disgraced the United States in the eyes of the world, putting it on a level with Turkey or Egypt or some tin-pot dictatorship where democracy is contingent?
Those most obviously responsible, of course, are those who stormed federal buildings, vandalized property, and sought to interrupt constitutional government. They are guilty of sedition, and they should be punished accordingly.
Who else? Who stood behind them? Who motivated, enabled, and incited them? Should we blame the senators who threatened to withhold their consent from the election result? Or right-wing shock jocks? Or, as some are doing, the media ecosystem that sustained President Trump for four years despite his cavalier attitude toward constitutional proprieties?
It is a principle of Western justice, and, indeed, of all the main monotheistic religions, that we are answerable for our actions. Guilt by association is a dangerous concept. I have argued before in this column that it is absurd