Most Republicans supported President Trump even though he wasn’t their first choice in the 2016 primary. They stuck with him through numerous self-defeating and outrageous episodes because they respected the election results even when Democrats did not. Republicans hoped he could win a second term and continue to deliver center-right policy victories.

But most Republicans did not sign up for the shocking level of pouting, lying and unconstitutional actions Trump delivered on his way out. I personally wasn’t creative enough to conjure a scenario in which the president of the United States would whip up a violent mob to threaten his own loyal vice president in a bid to overturn the election results.

Watching Biden take the oath of office Wednesday was a pleasant reminder that our system held, despite the recent assault upon it. And for Republicans, it was a rather unpleasant reminder of what happens when you descend into the magical thinking that losing an election is “mathematically impossible.”