Should-Read: Question: has it always smelled like at least one of America's two parties is on the point of collapse and dissolution? I don't think so. But I would like somebody with more knowledge of the history to weigh in on whether this does feel like a party-breaking moment, like 1848-1854: Kevin Drum: The Republican Party Is in Full-On Panic Mode, and We Get to Watch: "Republicans are in panic mode over the possibility that Robert Mueller is about to start plowing relentlessly through the White House like a bulldozer leveling an old shack...

...By the time he’s through, they’re understandably afraid there might not be much left standing.... That Republicans are acting this way... means they realize their party is in existential trouble.... On a nationwide level... the election of Donald Trump... [was] a fluke.... But at the level of the Republican Party, there was nothing flukish about it.... Trump very plainly tapped into something very real in the Republican rank-and-file psyche.... By 2012... party leaders understood perfectly well that this meant they needed better outreach to people of color, but this was something they could never pull off. Their only other option was to become even more explicitly unambiguous in their appeal to the white vote, and that never seemed like a plausible strategy.... Unfortunately, it turned out that this is what the Republican base wanted, which is why Trump won the nomination easily....

So here’s the situation: The Republican Party is screwed. Both their base and the conservative media-industrial complex are all-in on racial grievance-mongering, but it’s clear that this is a losing strategy nationwide that’s only going to get worse.... There’s really only one possible reaction to all this: panic. And that’s what we’re getting. Just as working-class whites are in a panic over their loss of status, Republicans are in a panic over their loss of numbers. Now, with their doom finally staring them in the face, Republicans are doing anything they can to put it off—and that’s unmasked some pretty despicable behavior.... If they act decently, they’ll lose their base. But the farther they go down the road of outrage and coverups, the more centrist votes they’ll lose. Virginia and Alabama are just the start. The Resistance is just the start. #BlackLivesMatter is just the start. What we’re seeing now is not the birth spasms of a new, authoritarian America. It’s more like the final bout of Cheyne-Stokes breathing before the death of the Republican Party...

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