Narrative: The Tea Party is about fear of American decline
Coverage: In a broad survey article on the history and national reach of the Tea Party movement, Der Spiegel's Marc Hujer and Thomas Schulz argue that, "For the first time since the global economic crisis more than 80 years ago, questions are being raised about America's success model, the principle that this country without a welfare state has always been more successful than Europe."
They take particular note of Beck's warnings against European-style socialism and allusions to Hitler and Stalin, making the case that the Tea Party is a movement of "blue-collar workers with posters of pin-up girls in their lockers." They are reacting, the article argues, against what they perceive to be a shift toward a European social model in which they would lose their privileged position.
According to the authors, "Beck gives a voice to... a rage directed against the architects of the new America."
Writing shortly after the passage of healthcare reform, arguably Obama's most impressive domestic acievement, Hujer and Schulz observe that "the more assured of success Obama becomes, the angrier are the protests."