Right from the first two words, we know what to expect: 'Paranoia politics'. That's right, Mickey. Believing in low taxation and individual liberty is a mental illness.
As he continues in his description of the 'simplistic populism' in US politics, which I suppose means a straight-forward, popular message which he don't agree with, we learn that Sarah Palin is the movement's 'patron saint', and here the whole angle is exposed.
The Tea Party started back during the Bush era, a true, grassroots, libertarian movement. It was going up against the establishment, both Republican and Democrat, and this was what alarmed the Washington elite and their media lapdogs. The people, or at least a large number of them, had figured out that there was no noticeable difference between the two parties. From Clinton to Bush to Obama, the same policies carried on rolling, and the big government had kept getting bigger. The elections of 2006 had brought the Democrats into power in Congress and it had changed nothing.
The establishment had a problem. For the Republicans, the necessity was to climb aboard the bandwagon and take it over, so they had to turn the anger away from all politicians and focus it on Obama, as if the problems started with him. For the Democrats, the necessity was to make sure the disgruntled people of the left did not desert them, for continuing every policy that Bush had put in place, so they had to demonise the Tea Party as racists and extremists, and in a crowd of many thousands, their cameras would seek out the few, often planted, provocateurs to fit that narrative.
This being the case, the Tea Party may have run its course and done its job. Let Palin and the neo-cons have it. The important thing is the ideas and principles that brought it into existence, the love of freedom, the belief in the Bill of Rights, the rejection of the corrupt, two-party, big-state system.
Michael White talks of paranoia, plots and conspiracies. He cannot take the risk of engaging in rational argument. He cannot admit that libertarianism could be an intellectual position, based on analysis of history and economics, an understanding of the follies of interventionism and a philosophically-grounded love of individual freedom. So he dismisses a straw-man 'know-nothing movement' that only a dumb hick would ascribe to.
No mention throughout of the one man who stands for the original and best Tea Party movement: Ron Paul, or that it started back in the days of Bush. No, that would only confuse Mickey's readers.
It's no mystery why a pampered Guardian journalist hates the free market. Without the state subsidy, for running all those public sector non-jobs, the Guardian will be sunk, and that day can't come soon enough.
Update: I thought I'd add this amusing clip from recent history - a democrazi infiltrator, trying to give Rand Paul a bad name, by dressing up like a dunderhead and carrying a racist sign. (more here on Tyler 'I'm a Rand fan' Collins). To see the desperation in his eyes when he's identified makes me laugh. Nevertheless, such obvious smear tactics provide the raw material for hit-pieces such as Michael White's.