[T]here's an MSM take on Republicans that strengthens the GOP: namely, that no matter what the party does, it's a legitimate party interested in governance. It's one of our major political institutions -- it can't ever be talked about as if it's gone off the rails, as if it's thuggish and deliberately acting in opposition to the national interest. Major political parties just don't do that with malice aforethought.
Steve Benen agrees:
In the world of serious discourse, it's entirely appropriate to say a major political party is wrong. It's equally acceptable to accuse the party of having a misguided agenda, or being incompetent, or even having corrupt leaders.
But the point Andrew and Steve are emphasizing is qualitatively different. This is an observation predicated on the notion that a major political party is now operating less as a party and more as a nihilistic, borderline dangerous, gang.
I suspect the vast majority of Americans aren't especially aware of any of this.