David Brooks in the NY Times makes a strong case for the rise of the Tea Party movement as an important force in national politics, particularly in the Republican Party. He’s not a fan, he says, but the appeal of the movement is undeniable as faith in institutions and leaders wanes.

You could call it the rise of the know-nothings.

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The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.

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The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.

A year ago, the Obama supporters were the passionate ones. Now the tea party brigades have all the intensity.

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We don’t need no stinkin’ facts. We’ve got teabags and we’re prepared to shout and throw them around.