The must-read of the week comes from James Fallows, someone not known for apocalyptic pronouncements, but finds himself to be rightly disturbed:
Normally I shy away from apocalyptic readings of the American predicament. We're a big, messy country; we've been through a lot -- perhaps even more than we thought … [b]ut when you look at the sequence from Bush v. Gore, through Citizens United, to what seems to be coming on the health-care front; and you combine it with ongoing efforts in Florida and elsewhere to prevent voting from presumably Democratic blocs; and add that to the simply unprecedented abuse of the filibuster in the years since the Democrats won control of the Senate and then took the White House, you have what we'd identify as a kind of long-term coup if we saw it happening anywhere else.
In a distilled, amended follow-up Fallows pulls back from the phrase "long-term coup" but asks a summary question: "How would you describe a democracy where power was being shifted that way?".
Recent events in Paraguay show all too clearly that institutions and political parties can adhere scrupulously to the letter of the law but nonetheless seize total power by casting aside the spirit of the law.
By this point, only a fool would deny that the Republican Party intends to establish an effective one-party state, and sooner rather than later.