Tomasky's critique ... is that the Republicans will be just as crazy after the election as now, and so all of this [speculation about post-election compromise] is academic. I don't agree.... The question is not whether this fever will break; the question is how does a country function unless it breaks?
My earlier take, on Tomasky, here. Sullivan's take, however, is more powerful in that he bluntly proffers what we might call a questioning euphemism for the unthinkable. Indeed, to merely speculate on when the GOP's fever might break is a rather hollow intellectual exercise; to ask, instead, if we can possibly survive, without remedy, what is now unmistakably the GOP's lethal malignancy is to answer the question.
When will the fever break? Sullivan reframes it. The country has no option but a post-election break; otherwise, we shall have no functioning country.
"Unthinkable" is an odd, self-negating word. It's pretty hard to describe the unthinkable if one hasn't thought about it. The same goes for "unimaginable." So allow me to refine my wording a bit: What Sullivan asks and answers isn't so much the unthinkable as it is the horrifically, knowably certain. Which, to use a perhaps oddly unfevered word, is simply unacceptable.