If that dire assessment of the peril posed by supposedly normal Republican ideas and goals is valid, then it means that one of the country’s two parties poses something like an existential threat to our form of government — somewhat like the threat that an aggressive and potentially fatal form of cancer poses to the human body from the inside. On this view, Republicans are less a perfectly legitimate rival for power than a civic menace — a formidable enemy that needs to be decisively defeated. It’s hard to see how the ordinary back-and-forth of democratic politics, with two or more parties trading or sharing power, can be allowed to continue when the prospect of the other side’s political victory could precipitate the end of the system itself.
If Republicans really do pose such a threat, that’s very bad. But it’s also bad if Democrats merely think and act as if it’s true, since it implies that they now believe that the only way to be a “good American” is to … be a Democrat. The problem with Kavanaugh, after all, isn’t Trump’s corruption or the gratuitous cruelty and ineptitude of his administration. The problem with Kavanaugh is the agenda of his party and its ideology going back decades.
Do Democrats really intend to suggest that Americans need to agree with them or else risk subverting American democracy as such?