"They cried "socialism!" and no one seemed to care. Now they cry "fascism!" and still their words do not cause the whole nation to rise up. It must be terribly frustrating. But that's the thing about democracy -- it can be pretty frustrating, particularly when you lose. What the right doesn't seem to get is that the more extreme and shrill their rhetoric grows, the less convincing they become to the broader public. And the more ridiculous they seem."
Waldman usefully traces the astroturf origins of the tea parties.
Paul Waldman, "It's the End of the World as They Know It," The American Prospect, 21 April 2009.