An interview with the great Theda Skocpol.
TS: I think we’ve seen the dissolution of a Republican Party apparatus that was able to enforce discipline. They used to be able to at least throw a blanket over some of the crazies so they didn’t scare everybody in the middle. And it’s been remarkable to see the Democratic Party become a disciplined machine. I never thought I'd live to see that. Harry Reid hasn't lost a single member on any of these votes. And I don't think he will.
EK: What does it mean for the Republican Party going forward?
TS: What’s happening here is unprecedented since the civil war. I'm not saying there’ve never been closures before. I don't think we’ve seen a major party since 1860 threaten to shut down the entire government if they can’t overturn a presidential election. Think of the irony of that. At its birth, the Republican Party was held up by the losing Democrats in the 1860 election who said we will destroy the union if you don't sign onto our agenda. You can call it tactics but that sounds minor. I don't think this is minor.