A new poll from Farleigh Dickinson University tells us that 44% of Republicans think that armed revolution in opposition to the government may need to happen in the near future. That's right, folks, almost half of the members of one of our two political parties is openly supporting the necessity of violent rebellion. I have a feeling that if this question was asked in the Bush administration, the number would be much, much lower.
Obama has had it harder than Bill Clinton when it comes to conservative scorched-earth politics, but both men had to face the fact that a very large part of their opposition simply never recognized their legitimacy as president of the United States. A democracy, much less a functioning government, can't run on this basis. Conservatives have lost at the polls, but they never lose on Capitol Hill, because they refuse to allow the machinery of government to operate, even after they lose an election rather decisively. They do not see any of this as politics, but rather a life or death struggle to be fought by any means necessary. So far their progressive opposition does not view politics in this way, but if it is pushed to do so, bloodshed won't be too far behind. American politics will look much more like those in Iraq. It can't happen here? Just you wait.