Sullivan writes that he's "been trying to think of something original to say about the absurdity now transpiring in Washington, DC.," which, for mainstream distribution, is by now impossible, for there are only two competing but unshakably fixed narratives consuming the public's attention: either both sides are clownishly uncompromising, or the Republicans are.
The second narrative is, of course, much closer to the truth, but still it fails to penetrate reality's most searing ugliness, which Sullivan proceeds to loosely sketch:
[T]here is something more here. How does one party that has lost two presidential elections and a Supreme Court case--as well as two Senate elections--think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now? I see no quid pro quo even. Just pure blackmail, resting on understandable and predictable public concern whenever a major reform is enacted. But what has to be resisted is any idea that this is government or politics as usual. It is an attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States.
Oh, so close. So damn close.
It is a fascistic attack on the constitutional order of the United States.
No, the tea party is not of the magnitude of 1933 National Socialists. I'd never argue that it is. But their political mentality--a violent resistence to all but their program--is virtually identical to that of the brownshirted thugs and ideologues who bullied and brutalized their way to power four score ago.
Hermann Goering, shortly before his suicide at Nuremberg, proffered the classic fascistic argument to his prosecutors for one-party rule: Why would we have permitted any power to competing parties, when We were so plainly right? We had the answers to Germany's problems. We knew what needed to be done. All that bickering that comes with pluralism and democracy would have only stalled the demonstrable perfection of our imminent solutions. We had to deny legitimacy to the opposition and crush it, because any opposition was, at best, merely meddlesome. Democracy is atavistic, and so elections and their results be damned.
It could have been Ted Cruz testifying. He and his cohort know better, don't you see? One should never respect the results of elections when one messianically is so plainly right. That's their attitude, that's their mentality, that's their arrogance. Yes it's an attack on our "constitutional order," just as it is, in plain English, a fascistic one.
Actually saying it might speed its demise.