One of the first, was the translation of Bin Laden's last tape. In it he claim that his goal was to bankrupt the united states. Considering the militant Islamic movement managed to pull that off in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, it seems likely he'd be able to do it again. Especially since Bush seems currently hell-bent on bankrupting the US on his own.
I remember from "the collapse of complex societies" that one of the preconditions for collapse in the authors model was that the society passed the point where increased complexity was yielding efficiency gains and was into the point where increases were actually hindering their economy. If society's method of responding to challenges was to increase complexity without adapting to the changes they were facing, they were likely to collapse.
The US is utterly dependent on cheap Oil to keep our society functioning, it is likely that we invaded Iraq to maintain our status quo. Yet as the war drags on and our coffers deplete we will have less and less money available to respond to global warming, our trade deficit, or the federal deficit.
At some point the institutions will run out of money and legitimacy and fall.
The fundamentalist ideology is probably looking forward to it as a way of cleaning the slate of all the unpleasant traces of secularism and are looking forward to rebuilding society in their theocratic vision.
If this analysis is correct it would behoove the left to be able to roll out our own institutions if the government becomes unable to continue to provide services.
I wonder what'll be like to live in a country without a functional federal government.
Oh yeah, one other thing this election reminded me of was babylon 5. At the very end as war becomes inevitable, one of the character remarks that "at some level, people like to see things go boom", as some explanation on why people were so pro-war.