To answer Kevin, the wave will crest when a crisis comes along that’s severe enough for Republicans to tweak our Democracy into something that better suits their oligarchic masters. 9/11 could have done the trick if their man Bush could make it through one whole day without tying his goddamn shoes together. Even so, they certainly did jigger around with some pretty fundamental aspects of our country. We torture now for one thing, or possibly we no longer care to deny it, and the Bill of Rights and international treaties have become even more of a loose set of guidelines (ish) than before the overwhelming threat of Jose Padilla and Quakers for Peace forced us to gently set them aside.
You might be wondering what comes next. Revolution in the mideast, hardly a bad thing in and of itself, will not improve oil prices as production either breaks down, e.g. in the case of Libya, or as the people request oil contracts that are more in line with their own interests. That would ratchet up the pressure on Saudi Arabia to pump more gas. If the pressure gets high enough the the Saudis might finally have to admit that they don’t have any spare capacity to pump, and speculative investors will love that. Higher gas prices will instantly kill off economic recovery, of course, and that will have a nasty synergistic effect if it happens during the general chaos that will erupt when John Boehner shuts down government in a couple of weeks.
At that point people who are merely desperate today will find themselves over the edge and frantic, furious, and looking for answers. For the folks who are throwing-pavement-stones angry and don’t have time or patience for milquetoast solutions from Professor Obama, do you think that the GOP will have a catchy and concise message ready? You betcha.