So the birthers, the anti-tax tea-partiers, the town hall hecklers – these are “either” the genuine grass roots or evil conspirators staging scenes for YouTube? The quiver on the lips of the man pushing the wheelchair, the crazed risk of carrying a pistol around a president – too heartfelt to be an act. The lockstep strangeness of the mad lies on the protesters’ signs – too uniform to be spontaneous. They are both. If you don’t understand that any moment of genuine political change always produces both, you can’t understand America, where the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy, and where elites exploit the crazy for their own narrow interests.
Rick Perlstein, The Washington Post