Donald Trump is a sick man.
He lies as naturally as other people breathe, he is incapable of admitting that he lost or is wrong—and those aren't the worst of his maladies.
That was driven home emphatically by his disgraceful speech near the White House Jan. 6 where he riled up tens of thousands of his supporters, telling them, "If you don't fight like hell, you're not gonna have a country anymore," and concluded by saying, "Let's go to the Capitol!"
He didn't go of course, instead heading back to the White House, where he watched the mayhem that he had incited on TV. That is Mr. Trump's style: start an argument and then duck out the back door once punches start being thrown. That avoids the possibility of getting roughed up and gives him a way to say he can't be blamed because he wasn't there.
The Wall Street Journal has called for him to resign, to take "personal responsibility" for his actions. He isn't going to listen, just as he ignored the call from another longtime media ally, the New York Post editorial board, late last year to forsake his push for what it called "an undemocratic coup."
That Dec. 28 editorial concluded, "If you insist on spending your final days in office threatening to burn it all down, that will be how you are remembered. Not as a revolutionary, but as the anarchist holding the match."
It was speaking metaphorically, concerned more about how continuing his crusade to set aside the election results would hurt the Republican Party's attempt to win at least one of two U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia to maintain its slim majority in that body than the possibility that he would incite a riot.
But the worst part of Mr. Trump's pathology is that he is unwilling, and perhaps incapable, of reckoning with or caring about the potential harm his words and actions can cause.
For more than five years he played with fire at his rallies by telling his supporters that he'd pay their legal bills if they got physical, whether with journalists or counter-protesters. This time, instead of a small brushfire, he touched off a major conflagration.
Mr. Trump enticed the domestic terrorists—to use President-elect Biden's apt description—to Washington to derail Congress's certification of the Electoral College vote while promising them it would be "wild." Fired up by his angry words, those of his oldest son and Rudy Giuliani, the mob stormed into the Capitol Building, placing everyone in their path in harm's way.
That included his Vice President, Mike Pence, unyieldingly loyal to Mr. Trump until he concluded that he could not violate the Constitution and argue that he had the power to nullify the vote that gave Mr. Biden the presidency. By the time Mr. Pence's security detail hurried him out of the Senate Chamber for his own safety, all his boss cared about was that he had betrayed him. His twisted mind takes any contrary opinion as a grievous insult.
The elected officials inside the building were terrified, and other Americans were horrified, as much for the symbolism of this invasion as for the damage done.
Five people died as a result of the insurrection. One was a Capitol Police Officer, Brian Sicknick, who never recovered from being bashed in the head with a fire extinguisher by one of the ugliest of Mr. Trump's grotesque band of brothers. This happened because the man who preaches law and order while regularly being neither lawful nor orderly had set in motion a tornado fueled by his lies.
The Police Benevolent Association, which initially made no comment about the insurrection, following that death tweeted, "Keep Capitol PO Brian Sicknick and his family in your hearts, along with his Capitol Police counterparts. We know our Fed brothers & sisters will move mountains to bring this cop-killer to justice—along w/ every rioter who participated in this despicable attack."
But the union—whose president, Pat Lynch, is Mr. Trump's most-prominent union supporter—did not mention the President's starring role in that attack.
Mr. Lynch and Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins accused Mayor de Blasio of "blood on the hands" when two Police Officers were assassinated in December 2014, 17 days after the Mayor reacted to a grand jury's decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner by speaking of how he once cautioned his then-teenage son about being careful in any encounters with police.
Those remarks by the Mayor, tin-eared as they were, just hinted he believed cops might be biased. That's not comparable to inciting a mob to commit violence on your behalf.
It shouldn't have mattered to the union that it prefers Mr. Trump to Mr. de Blasio, or that some members might have been unhappy if it criticized the President.
Mr. Trump surrendered the right to finish out his term when he exhorted those willing to carry out his violent fantasies.
Democrats plan impeachment proceedings. This time, hopefully Republicans of good conscience will join them.