In a nominal but insecure democracy, under certain circumstances, a fanatical, nihilistic, obstructionist minority can bring down the state and seize power. It happened in 1917 in Russia, when the Bolshevik (sic) Party took control, and in 1933 when the Nazi Party took control of Germany.
It is now happening in America. A fanatical, nihilistic, obstructionist minority has managed to seize control of the Republican Party and push it towards the edge of political and financial catastrophe. This minority has no hope of gaining power through the ballot box — it hopes to gain ascendency through social apocalypse, or the threat of social apocalypse, much as the Bolsheviks and Nazis did.
There doesn’t seem to be any force in American politics willing to oppose this minority now, on the terms it has chosen — all or nothing.
Obama claims he will stand up to it, but I’m not sure he’s got the guts, or the will — constitutional democracy is clearly not something he has much respect for, either. We shall see. My sense is that the sane but supine majority of America is doomed.