As usual, Paul Krugman earns what will predictably be an extra-large helping of abuse from the right, by the unforgivable act of telling the truth:
"...what we’re having is a political crisis, born of the fact that one of our two great political parties has reached the end of a 30-year road. The modern Republican Party’s grand, radical agenda lies in ruins...and it retains enough power to do immense damage as it strikes out in frustration.
Since the 1970s, the Republican Party has fallen increasingly under the influence of radical ideologues, whose goal is nothing less than the elimination of...the whole legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society.
From the beginning, however, these ideologues have had a big problem: The programs they want to kill are very popular...important in conservative thinking, however, was the notion that the G.O.P. could exploit other sources of strength — white resentment, working-class dislike of social change, tough talk on national security — to build overwhelming political dominance, at which point the dismantling of the welfare state could proceed freely.
Our best hope is that business interests will use their influence to limit the damage. But the odds are that the next few years will be very, very ugly."
And if you want to see what that ugliness is likely to look like, you need only check out what is happening in Michigan, where Republicans control both houses of the legislature, and also have the governorship.
In the recent election, Michigan Republicans ran on a very moderate platform, but now, everything has changed. A bill designed to destroy unions was passed in a day and promptly signed into law by the governor- a bill written not by a legislator but by a Koch Brothers financed organization, and passed with Koch Brothers' threats to primary any Republican legislator who voted against it (none did, of course.) A bill was passed to eliminate the personal property tax. Radical bills designed to make abortion unavailable, and to increase "gun rights" were rammed through.
And that is not by any means the end of this cynicism. Those unfamiliar with Michigan politics may be unaware that the State gave itself the right a couple of years ago to seize the governments of cities it did not like, and replace them with State appointed "administrators," thus utterly disenfranchising their voters. (Do I even need to point out that the cities subjected to this were all majority-black?) Well, the people of the State of Michigan revoked that right, through an initiative, a few months ago. So, the Republicans in the legislature, and the governor, conspired to pass a new bill reinstating this seizure of power- and this time, they added a financing provision to it, because financing bills cannot be undone by the initiative process.
Now, finally, the legislature today, knowing what they have unleashed, passed a bill making it vastly more difficult to recall elected officials.
This is dictatorship. There is no other word for it. And it comes with the violent repression of protesters which is such an inevitable feature of dictatorships.
Republicans know that they can no longer hope to win elections in this country if they rely on the democratic process. Like injured wolves, their answer is going to be to turn violent. Democrats, get ready, because like Krugman, I believe very few of us have contemplated how ugly this is likely to get.