AUTHOR: Michael Tomasky, the generally reflective Guardian writer
PRETEXT: The primary win of Tea Party-backed Republican candidate for governor of New York, Carl Paladino
THESIS: "these Tea Partiers are not the sons and daughters of John Adams but people who stand almost entirely outside the country's best mainstream traditions."
LENGTH: 1,069 words of provocative comparisons
A SHORT, HUMBLE HISTORY OF TEA PARTY-LIKE PEOPLE IN AMERICA:
They had the habit of losing a bunch of elections to federalists of various sorts. They brought on the civil war (and you should watch the American readers thrash out this sentence in the online comments!).
HOW PEOPLE DEALT WITH THE TEA PARTY TENDENCY BACK IN THOSE DAYS: Occupying the South
BACK TO THE MODERN DAY:
It took economic calamity, large government bailouts, and perhaps most of all a president who is so utterly alien to them--and who embodies American ruination and turpitude just by standing there--for them to rise up as one.
HOW KARL ROVE, CREATING AN INSURGENCY, IS LIKE DOCTOR FRANKENSTEIN: "He doesn't like the monster raising himself from the table, but it's a little late for that"
HAVE YOU NOTICED THIS ABOUT THE TEA PARTY? It has "about as many Jews as an average al-Qaida meeting"
THE BIG QUESTION:
Is the Tea Party movement a flash in the pan, or is it a historic fulfilment of an urge that has been building for 230 years and is on the cusp, with the help of Rupert Murdoch's "news" channel, of becoming a permanent fixture in American politics?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.