The problem is that there are never any end of reasons to defer principles for the sake of power. When that happens, the end result is precisely the same as if we had no principles at all — we fill Congress with lecherous old men whose values and actions we despise, and then we convince ourselves we did it for reasons both realistic and noble.

There are ramifications. Such a pattern helps breed cynicism among the electorate, who can’t be blamed for believing both parties will drop their ideals in a hot second if it means grabbing a bit more power. That ends up being corrosive to our democracy and its institutions.

Which means, ultimately, that “The Flight 93 Election” logic is self-fulfilling.