Wasn't Jan. 6, 2021, proof enough for Rep. "My Kevin" McCarthy and other Republican officials that words matter?
That anti-government rhetoric, echoes of Donald Trump's grievances and war metaphors are triggers for a small battalion of armed extremists, who stand back and stand by for any perceived signal to literally go into battle for the defeated president?
That someone could get killed?
Clearly Republicans haven't learned that lesson.
The only surprise bigger than the news Monday of the FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was the immediate circling of the wagons among what passes these days for the Republican Party establishment.
Here's McCarthy, in a fast-off-the-blocks tweet that took up Trump's provocative charge that Democrats had "weaponized" law enforcement for an unprecedented "raid":
"I've seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy wrote.