But increasingly the political swamp is being governed by the law of the jungle. Take the Koch Brothers, who Reid has ceaselessly pilloried as “un-American” in speeches on the Senate floor. And the vilification continues, even with no election in sight. Just this past February, Salon published a piece by Thom Hartmann, America’s leading liberal talk-radio-show host, about the Koch Brothers. The title: “Fascism Is Rising in America.”

Liberals have become quite fond of using fascist imagery to denounce their opponents in some of the same ways conservatives used to warn about Reds under every bed. Al Gore calls his critics “digital brownshirts.” Last month, Vice President Joe Biden accused foes of union power of being “blackshirts.”

And then there are the “naming of names” and economic pressure that seem wildly out of place in a supposedly free marketplace of ideas. Last month, a group of 39 scientists accused the Smithsonian’s Museums of Science and Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City of compromising their “integrity” by accepting money from the Koch Brothers.