Spot on commentary

Inflation Is Awful, but the End of Democracy Is Worse
Americans on the political right have found all sorts of ways to mock and dismiss the Jan. 6 committee’s hearings. One is to point to them as proof that Democrats are terminally out of touch with pressing, important issues. Gas rose above $5 a gallon in some places and recession looms, but sure, prattle on about Trump’s tantrums in the final days of his presidency! Knock yourself out! That sentiment is rendered with an almost audible chortle of glee over the drubbing that Democrats may well endure in the midterms.

And it’s bananas. While those Republicans are probably right that inflation in the months leading up to November 2022 will have a significantly bigger impact at the polls than insurrection two years earlier, they’re dead wrong about what has greater moral weight, matters more in the long term and endangers the very future of this country as a stable democracy. Democrats aren’t engaged in some partisan indulgence — that’s why Liz Cheney, who is Republican royalty, has made temporary cause with them. And despite their painstaking staging of the hearings, they’re not merely performing political theater.

There’s no minimizing or merrily moving past the fact that a former American president who remains his party’s likeliest nominee in 2024 incited violence, threatened fellow party members, imperiled his own vice president and spread incendiary lies in an attempt to overturn the will of voters and stay in office. And it’s no piddling, negligible detail that most Republicans on the ballot this coming November probably won’t publicly condemn or contradict him. They’ve essentially told voters that they’d be fine with autocracy if the autocrat smiled on them.

That’s the most crucial issue in the midterms, and shame on lawmakers like Senator Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, who said on (where else?) Fox News on Tuesday: “I have not taken the time to watch the hearings. I feel like the best use of my time is fighting the inflationary effects.” Senator, I’m betting you can do both at once, and why not pair that good fight against ghastly prices with a broader battle to preserve the country’s very integrity?