Lawmakers were merely required to go on the record in response to the question: Donald Trump just said a baldly racist thing—will you raise your voice in protest? Practically none would. It’s hard to see them falling much farther than that. For all intents and purposes, the capitulation of the GOP to this president is now complete.

You may find this foolish or disgusting or morally reprehensible. But it is much worse than that: It’s dangerous.

Republicans have always told themselves that despite Trump’s authoritarian impulses, he would never be able to act on them. The guardrails of democracy were too strong; the main body of the party would only let him stray so far.

Ask yourself this: If congressional Republicans could not support a non-binding resolution condemning these remarks as racist, then what line could Trump cross that they would push back on, especially if pushing back was going to cost them something?