Think beyond the election, and it gets a bit scary.

It's far-fetched that “the losing side will politely accept [losing in 2012] and adopt a constructive, compromising stance.” So writes MIT-educated economist Arnold Kling in a column titled “Civil War Scenarios.”

We may already be seeing, from the Left, this spirit of no compromise. At least one group plans, for the Tampa Republican Convention, “direct and deliberate destruction….”

Earlier Colorado saw a State Senate Democrat intern glitter-bomb Romney. He took a guilty plea, but did not regret his urge to protest. In Tampa police found pipes and bricks atop a building near the convention site. Really peaceful to throw them at delegates, huh?

Fears of similar violence emanated from CU when faculty leader Jerry Peterson said he'd close his classes if they had students legally carrying a concealed-carry weapon. Peterson worried about “discussions that could become controversial….” Since Peterson's field is nuclear physics and nuclear energy, he may be right that a left-wing wacko could take offense at his views that nuclear can be a safe energy producer.

Peterson's comment that “guns would destroy the learning environment” failed to consider, as CU Regent candidate Mary Dambman put it, “a gun's action would be great for teaching speed, trajectory, etc.” Teachable moments should be seized.

Fear of violence is not unreasonable. Neither is the fear that one side or the other might seek – as the Left tried to do to President Bush – to delegitimize his electoral mandate. The amount of money spent by Soros-backed operations and fellow travelers assisted Bush's fall in opinion polls. Delegitimizing is a far cry from opposing your opponent's programs or legislative priorities. It strikes at the foundation of representative democracy.

The Left has already created its version of why Obama lost, should that happen as CU poli-sci profs suggest. Peak story here. Adding to lefty angst, Vodkapundit (Stephen Green of Colorado Springs) has Colorado in the “lean Romney” category.

Democrat losers will say, “We lost because of vote suppression.”

The Left faces two impediments to this argument. First, Americans favor photo ID at the polls – by 74% to 23%. (Voter fraud, by the way, is seen as “not a problem” by only 14%.) Second, proving vote suppression has the same evidentiary problem as proving voter fraud: if either is well done, it's never discovered. And – legitimately – local district attorneys don't have the staff or time to prosecute any but slam-dunk cases like these. They aren't, after all, the same as murder.

To be clear:

  • There has never been a Tea Party riot.
  • There have been frequent “Occupy” instances of left-wing lawlessness.

There is no factual equivalence here. If Kling is right in his scenarios, an Obama loss is more likely to produce violence than an Obama win.

The Left's final problem with such matters is that Americans have never liked extortion.