As Ohio goes, we say, so goes the nation. It seems to me that we can go either way: adapt, or thrill to our own destruction. Clinton County has the plastic horseshoe crab, but also the memory of Frank Turner. Ohio gave the world today’s Republican majority leader John Boehner, but also Benjamin Franklin Wade, the Republican senator who helped draft the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Wade’s provision that the American public debt “shall not be questioned” has just been violated by Boehner. The Tea Party, in Ohio as throughout the nation, has found a strategy that is adaptive for itself, if maladaptive for the country: tell those who suffer from Republican policies that anyone who wishes to help them is an outsider. This summer I saw, for the first time that I can remember, a confederate flag flying before an Ohio farmhouse. Radical Republicans like Benjamin Franklin Wade and liberal Republicans like Frank Turner are pretty much extinct. The Democrats, here as elsewhere, are forced back into the position of unwilling conservatives, preserving the republic from the right-wing anarchist view that those who have wealth should not be taxed and that those who do not should thank the Lord for the chaos that ensues.