Billmon does some speculative number crunching and concludes:
Ultimately, what is at issue here is the progressive radicalization of a big chunk of the U.S. conservative movement – and its favorite chew toy, the Republican Party. That’s what Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein were talking about when they wrote that:The Republican Party . . . has become an insurgent outlier – ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.But what Mann and Ornstein, and the rest of the mainstream political establishment, refuse to admit (or at least acknowledge) is where radicalization could lead – has led, so many times in the past: to violence. At the end of the day, “insurgent” might turn out to be more than just a metaphor, at least for some.
Our friends on the right might eventually burn themselves out. Or they might not. We'll see.