This was entirely predictable. Indeed, over the past decade we’ve seen plenty of signs that Republicans cannot be our partners in maintaining a democracy, from voter suppression to the dynamiting of norms to the backing of a wholly unfit individual to be president. I’ve seen lots of verbiage out there to the effect that this is a moment of clarity for Republicans but it really isn’t, it’s a moment of clarity for Democrats. I don’t expect it to be the final one, but when this finally does dawn on them, there are really only two options: either create a blueprint for returning to power with the intent of ruthlessly destroying the conservative movement, or start planning for the creation of a new democratic polity that doesn’t include them (i.e. a breakup of the United States). The latter promises to be awful: complicated, expensive and messy, but it’s almost impossible for me to imagine the former being conducted by a party that has long been built on cooperation and bipartisanship at nearly any cost. (I don’t really think that simply winning back control over the government is an ultimate fix either, though that is the short-term strategy: it does nothing to fix the ultimate problem, which is the Republican Party, which would likely win back a chamber or two of Congress during the next Dem president’s tenure and escalate the obstruction and norm-breaking tactics it previously employed.) Again, this is some ways off. But I don’t see any real alternative, and if anyone has any bright ideas, I’m open to them.

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