The intellectual miasma of Messrs. Doctorow and McClelland is interesting, but the issue is rather simple. In fact, Doctorow puts it correctly, in saying that the Bush Administration is involved in "incremental fascism."
It has become fashionable to claim that fascism is a phenomenon restricted to the post-WWI upheaval in Europe. But actually fascism arose earlier in opposition to Marxism and liberalism; its roots go back to the reactionary and conservative opposition to the French Revolution. It religious basis goes back to the integral Catholicism of the Papacy as it opposed the Enlightenment, having earlier opposed Christian reform and earlier even than that the religious dissidence represented by the non-disappearance of the Jews and the rise of Islam.
Ultra-nationalism, misguided militaristic patriotism, and corporatism masquerading as capitalism are all leading to fascism in the United States. Unfortunately, the target we need to focus on is misunderstood and even denied as reality.
Would that our intellectuals could see things more clearly.