Serwer argues that the political wilderness has made Republicans less tolerant of Muslims:

As one of Josh Marshall's readers suggests, what's happened here is exactly what happened with torture, Gitmo, and using civilian trials to try terrorists. Free from the shackles of responsible governance and having to defend a Bush administration that insisted on characterizing Islam as a "religion of peace," they can give free rein to their prejudices and preferences. Hence the myth that Bush didn't have a default policy of trying most terrorism suspects in civilian court, the end of the once bipartisan agreement over closing Gitmo, and the forthright embrace of torture now that there's no need to defend Bush's insistence that "the United States does not torture." 

Once Republicans take back power, the policy implications of their current sensibilities will be unsustainable. But it will be too late, because they will have created a constituency that demands them.

Like I said, it will get worse before it will get better. The potential cost to this country's social cohesion and foreign policy remains, however, enormous.

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