We haven't seen the death of one party and the birth of a new one since the Republicans replaced the Whigs in 1860.
It is interesting, then, that James Fallows of the Atlantic is posting pictures of John Calhoun: In case the point is not clear yet: there is no post-Civil War precedent for what the House GOP is doing now.
Meanwhile, Jon Chait explains why this is an actual crisis of constitutional government*: The Debt-Ceiling Showdown Is the Fight of Obama’s Life.
Finally, Ryan Lizza explains the geographic origins of the Congressional Suicide Caucus**. Shocker: not the best educated parts of the country!
*Anybody else remember when the Washington Press Corpse called the Monica Lewinski affair a "constitutional crisis"? Journalists are really stupid.
**Word to the wise: do not try the catering at the caucus retreat on the Eastern Shore, especially the "fruit juice."