Michael Gerson, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, describes the response of Republicans to the first day of public hearings of the January 6 commission:

The Jan. 6 committee’s riveting televised opening night might not have converted the pro-Trump revisionists, but it has left them without excuses. The evidence is overwhelming that a sitting president gathered a violent mob and charged it with intimidating members of Congress and his own vice president into illegally reversing the outcome of a presidential election on the basis of an obvious lie.

There is only one narrative about Jan. 6 that history will accept: the evidence meticulously gathered and presented by the House select committee.

In some ways, pressing the case against former president Donald Trump is not hard, because he confirms its general outlines. He still seems to regard the riot as the highest expression of MAGA loyalty to his person. He still insists he should be reinstated as president. He still seems to believe then-Vice President Mike Pence was a weak-kneed traitor for refusing to overturn the constitutional order. Because Trump can’t admit error, he often effectively admits guilt.

The response of congressional Republican leaders to Thursday’s hearing — that it is more important to focus on inflation than sedition — has demonstrated their vast political and moral shallowness. The juxtaposition of testimony by U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards (“I was slipping in people’s blood”) and a tweet from Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee account (“All. Old. News.”) was telling.

One imagines a 20-something GOP staffer straining (and failing) to be clever. The contrast between the police officer’s sacrifice and the tweeter’s infantile partisanship raises some questions: Is anyone teaching young Republicans that public service can be honorable and costly? Why doesn’t some mature public official shake these shills and urge silence in the presence of patriotic virtues they don’t possess?