The home stretch of this election has been marked by Republican desperation and Democratic angst. Sensing defeat, Republicans down ballot from Donald Trump are promising to prevent Hillary Clinton from filling Supreme Court vacancies—should they retain the Senate—and to beset her administration with years of investigations. They have bullied the FBI into selectively leaking information that might damage Clinton, and some Republicans have even said they’re likely to impeach her.

This rapid jettisoning of political courtesies and democratic norms isn’t just an indication that Republicans sense defeat. It’s a warning of the political future that awaits us if and when Clinton assumes office.

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne is the author of a timely book called Why the Right Went Wrong. We sat down with him at the Brookings Institution to fit the closing days of this campaign into a greater historical framework, and give some thought to what lies ahead.

Further reading:

  • E.J. writes about the cost of FBI Director Jim Comey’s appeasement of anti-Clinton partisans.
  • Brian Beutler explores the possibility that after Trump, Republican politics could get even worse.