The best example of what happens when you criminalize political opposition is the Roman Civil War.
Gauis Julius Caesar was a republican to the core. He believed in the Roman Republic, and its unwritten constitution. When his political opponents, the Optimates, made it clear that they were going to prosecute him and either exile or execute him, the moment Caesar set down his military command they made war inevitable. Especially since it was clear that they were not interested in following the law, except at their convenience.
Caesar was not given a choice between going to war and destroying the republic or preserving it by going quietly to his doom. He could see that the republic was doomed no matter what his choice was. He could either start a civil war or let Rome slide into a tyranny run by the Optimates. Given that choice, let the dice fly and hope you can put the pieces back together after you win. At least, you can die trying.
The Democrats remind me of the Optimates in many ways. William Clinton seems like a 21st century version of Pompey Magnus. That Bush has not played Caesar is a tribute to two things: George W.'s fundamental decency, and the fact that the United States is yet not in as bad a shape politically as the late Roman Republic.
Of course being a "progressive" means never having to pay attention to the lessons of Human History.
Unfortunately President George W. Bush is being a good Christian gentleman is a era that is dominated by those who seek to live and rule by the sword. This is not going to end well.
What are your questions on this block of instruction?