Time will tell if the Tea Party movement — and other forms of less directed anger — will rise to an actual peasants-with-pitchforks moment. I can only say what Tolkien once said in another context entirely — one hopes.
In order for the peasants to actually make it over the castle walls, in pursuit of their patriotic desire to see if the Earl of Greenback Trillions will float in the moat, they have to be especially wary of . . . Republicans. I have seen more than one republicoid talking on the television, rubbing his hands gleefully, as though the Tea Party and the Republicans were natural allies. They are not at all. If this is an angry confrontation, and it is, the goal of which is to take away the hooch, it doesn’t really matter if the Republicans are what we call the functional drunks and the Democrats are the face-down-in-the-gutter kind. In either case, the Johnny Walker Black is going down the sink, and in each instance the relevant drunk will try to get in the way, depending on whose bottle we are currently holding over the drain.
With this in mind, one of the best things that could happen would be for John McCain to lose to his primary challenger. Since the elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, the Democrats have been rattled and badly frightened. But we will not be well underway until the Republican establishment is terrified as well.