No one who has participated in this poisonous buffoonery should ever hold office again. There was a time when there was a plausible if sometimes self-serving rationale for working for the Trump administration — that the president is a clueless poseur surrounded by crackpots and frauds, and that he desperately needs good counsel from responsible adults. But the Trump administration is not currently under the guiding influence of any such responsible adults — and there simply is no defending what it is up to. This cannot be excused or explained away.

Trump’s media cheerleaders, who like to call themselves constitutionalists and patriots, are no such thing. They are, for the most part, profiteers who will justify anything if it helps them to hold on to one point of audience share as they peddle their various blends of snake oil. “Woe unto them that call evil good and justify the wicked for gain.”

There was never any reason to trust them in the first place, but the events that have transpired since Election Day provide superabundant reason to understand them as an impediment to the conservative movement they purport to champion and a danger to the country they purport to love. If history remembers them at all, it will be as grovelers and hustlers, holding out for one last payday, a ride on Air Force One, or, in some cases, a presidential pardon.

I suppose the conservative movement might have to build a future without too much input from Lindsey Graham and Sean Hannity. The republic will survive that loss, I am confident.