The thing with crooked megalomaniacs is that they never know when to quit, when they've done enough.
I mean, most of these guys, at the top anyways, are mega-rich. Hundreds of millions of dollars. And they are in their sixties and older - meaning that they can't be thinking of padding their retirement. It's something else at play in their motivations.
This fallout is an inevitable consequence of the power they have, I think. Not just the legal power they get from the constitution, but the additional free pass they got from the 911 hysteria. They pushed a little, and got away with it. They pushed some more, and got away with it. They kept pushing, and getting away with it - even lauded for it - for a long time.
But they weren't/aren't smart enough to quit while they are ahead. Hollywood has a whole movie formula about the successful scam artist/thief/hero who keeps doing 'one more job', and inevitably all hell breaks loose. It's not like it isn't predictable - keep pushing your luck and sooner or later you lose.
So they are finally being brought up short. It's just a goddamn shame that it took so long.
They have made enormous hay with the most potent myth in US culture: 'The greatest democracy in the world, a beacon of freedom etc.' People really want to believe that myth, and have disregarded an objectively overwhelming quantity of countervailing evidence to that end. But the thing about mythologies is that once people finally give up on them - once they finally see behind the curtain, actually hear what everyone has been telling them - they get really pissed off.
There is nothing so painful as having one's most cherished myths destroyed by malevolent or selfish outsiders. Every culture in the world has experiences it to some degree or other - it happens to indigenous peoples all the time. It takes a lot more evidence and work to discredit an empire mythos as potent as the American one, but it appears to be underway right now.
So the people will get pissed off, and they will either:
a) seek to destroy the mythbreakers - Bushco
b) find a new myth, or find a way to restore the old one some other way
It remains to be seen what will happen in the end. I suspect outside events will have a large role, combined with the corruption of the emperor and his various courtiers. This is not a new pattern, just a new context. The Mayans and others killed off their rulers as the society collapsed and the myths fell apart.
I hope it doesn't go that far - I hope they bring down the emperor and revivify their constitution, rethink their engagement with the world. But I don't know what will happen in the end.