Yesterday's events in Washington DC cement what was already certain: that Donald Trump will leave office as the worst President in the history of the United States.
That this would be the case was obvious from the start to anyone remotely acquainted with US politics or popular culture, including the decades-old Trump circus. The only question was how the disaster would become manifest. That the hopefully final chapter in the saga has turned out to be Trump inciting the storming and looting of the US Capitol as part of an attempted putsch was only marginally surprising in its degree.
All those directly involved should be tracked down, arrested, tried for sedition and — if convicted — face the consequences. Whatever sentences they receive, they should count themselves lucky. There is no escaping that, had they been black, more than just the one of them would have been shot dead before they even entered the Capitol.
But they are ultimately just dupes. Readers who are not ultra-online may not know the full extent of what those voters have been told to believe by a President they began to admire when they thought he really was a successful businessman on The Apprentice, and those who have enabled him.
The story goes — and I am not making this up — that the world is run by a network of paedophiles who operate out of a pizza shop in Washington DC. The Clintons and Bushes are obviously involved, and the Obamas, plus pretty much anyone who opposes Trump.
Post-election additions to the conspiracy are the US Supreme Court and the wider judiciary, including judges appointed by Trump, and — since yesterday — Vice-President Mike Pence and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
Trump was sent by God to fight the paedophile network and will soon unleash The Storm, where he will arrest everyone involved — although this has been delayed many times since his election.
That is because the Deep State, of which the military and media are obviously a part, keep standing in his way, most recently with the industrial-scale election fraud that Trump alleges, completely without evidence, thwarted his second term.
Polls suggest a good hunk of Americans — perhaps as many as 20 per cent — believe this whole story.
Trump has legitimised the story by regularly aligning himself, including this week, with those who promote it, including elected officials in his party. The internet has meant it can be spread far more effectively than Trump's predecessors, like David Koresh or Jim Jones, could ever have imagined. Those comparisons are entirely legitimate because Trump leads not so much a political movement as a cult.
And it has worked for him. While he has never won the popular vote, being beaten on that measure even by the deeply flawed Hillary Clinton, it has allowed him to reach and hold the most powerful political office in the world.
Everybody around Trump has known that this is the source of his political power and exactly what they were part of. If they did not know where his inflammatory tweets and incendiary rants would lead they are incompetent. If they did, they are surely guilty of sedition. Either way they are complicit. That includes some of those who finally stood up to him before yesterday's attempted coup, including Pence and McConnell, and those who still do his bidding despite it, like Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.
It also includes his senior White House staff, including the longest-serving outside his own family, New Zealander Chris Liddell, his Deputy Chief of Staff responsible for policy.
Liddell was there right from the start, in January 2017, as Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives, before Trump promoted him further.
It was Liddell who reportedly put Trump's transition to Joe Biden on hold back in November, although he has assured New Zealand friends he has been head down working on it since it resumed, and will do so for the next two weeks.
Interviewed by New Zealand media late last year, Liddell said that while he has disagreed with some of Trump's decisions, "I've never felt that I've so disagreed with what he's doing that I've ever seriously considered leaving".
That really won't be good enough in the verdict of history or by more proximate sources of justice when the full Trump con is investigated.
No one expects moral perfection, and politics at the highest level tends to lead to poor moral choices.
Previous Presidents have covered up their campaign staff being involved in a burglary of their political opponents. They have illegally traded arms with Iran for hostages and funnelled the profits to Central American anti-communist rebels, also illegally. They have sexually harassed and abused interns and lied about it, and had their wives arrange for the victims to be publicly smeared. They have launched wars that have turned out to be based on faulty intelligence, at best, or outright deception at worst.
But none has ever sought to undermine the basic norms of democracy the way Trump has for four years, cynically sold their supporters fantastical tales of paedophile rings and election fraud they have known to be false, or deliberately incited an attempted coup. Trump is in an entirely different category from any of his predecessors. He and everyone in his inner circle who has enabled him must face consequences at least as severe as those to be faced by the insurgents who more directly tried to overthrow the US Government yesterday.