This is a sober and mostly careful analysis, though its conclusion seems to overreach the author's own concession:
It's so easy right now to look at the melee on the right and discount it as pure political theater of the most absurdly ridiculous kind. It's a freaking puppet show. These people can't be serious. Sure, they're angry -- but they're also a minority, out of power and reduced to throwing tantrums. Grown-ups need to worry about them about as much as you'd worry about a furious five-year-old threatening to hold her breath until she turned blue.
Still, there is obviously evidence (an example) to support the general outlines of this author's worries. As she writes:
All through the Bush years, progressive right-wing watchers refused to call it "fascism" because, though we kept looking, we never saw clear signs of a deliberate, committed institutional partnership forming between America's conservative elites and its emerging homegrown brownshirt horde. We caught tantalizing signs of brief flirtations -- passing political alliances, money passing hands, far-right moonbat talking points flying out of the mouths of "mainstream" conservative leaders. But it was all circumstantial, and fairly transitory. The two sides kept a discreet distance from each other, at least in public. What went on behind closed doors, we could only guess. They certainly didn't act like a married couple.
Now, the guessing game is over. We know beyond doubt that the Teabag movement was created out of whole cloth by astroturf groups like Dick Armey's FreedomWorks and Tim Phillips' Americans for Prosperity, with massive media help from FOX News. We see the Birther fracas -- the kind of urban myth-making that should have never made it out of the pages of the National Enquirer -- being openly ratified by Congressional Republicans. We've seen Armey's own professionally-produced field manual that carefully instructs conservative goon squads in the fine art of disrupting the democratic governing process -- and the film of public officials being terrorized and threatened to the point where some of them required armed escorts to leave the building. We've seen Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to "a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress."
This is the sign we were waiting for -- the one that tells us that yes, kids: we are there now. America's conservative elites have openly thrown in with the country's legions of discontented far right thugs. They have explicitly deputized them and empowered them to act as their enforcement arm on America's streets, sanctioning the physical harassment and intimidation of workers, liberals, and public officials who won't do their political or economic bidding....
We visited this issue in some detail nearly five years ago, at the height of the Bush reign of criminality. Now, of course, we have a different President. Obama, himself (unlike Bush or, more clearly, Cheney), is not a man of fascist temperment quite obviously; it's also now clear, he is no liberal (indeed, one colleague who had assured me he was, now admits that he is a "timid centrist"--though, as we've remarked before, being in the center of a spectrum that runs from what would be in most countries the fascist right to moderates isn't so good!). But the real danger comes if he is defeated in 2012 (the current trend lines are worrisome), since it seems the only Republicans in the offing are all reactionary religious zealots like Palin and Huckabee. Since the Republican Party went off the rails fully over the last 15 years, becoming the party of not-so-crypto fascist propagandists like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, any loss for the Democrats (even as pathetic as they are) will be a victory for very scary people. Unless the current Republican Party is either replaced by a new party mainly representing the short-term interests of the ruling class like the Republicans of yesteryear or reinvents itself as such a party (purging the followers of Limbaugh, Beck, and Sarah Palin), then the United States will, indeed, remain at risk of seeing what remains of its democratic culture fully eviscerated.