A mob stormed the Capitol Building Wednesday, interrupting the counting of Electoral College votes, sending members of Congress, staff, and media into hiding, and leaving behind evidence of violence and destruction – and at least four dead.

Call this what you will – a riot, an insurrection, or what new House member Nancy Mace (R-SC) described as  “3rd world country stuff.” Nothing like it has happened in the Capitol since the British army stormed the place, and set it ablaze, during the war of 1812. 

It was a display of contempt for the American experiment in self-government.

Despite it all, the usually ceremonial process of reading the Electoral votes continued, and early Thursday morning, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were confirmed as winners of the presidency and vice presidency.

And as Sen. Rand Paul noted:

“My oath to the Constitution doesn’t allow me to disobey the law. I cannot vote to overturn the verdict of the states.

“Such a vote would be to overturn everything held dear by those of us who support the rights of states in this great system of federalism bequeathed to us by our founders.

“The electoral college was created to devolve the power of selecting presidential electors to the states.

“The electoral college is, without question, an inseparable friend to those who believe that every American across our vast country deserves to be heard.

“If Congress were given the power to overturn the states’ elections . . . what terrible chaos would ensue.”

The constitutional process, federalism, and a republican – rather than parliamentary – form of government prevailed. But it was close – too close.