One of the reasons Europeans are so fearful of the Tea Party is that they assume that because it is right wing and populist it is like the National Front in France or Golden Dawn in Greece. Today’s small government American Tea Partiers are much farther from Huey Long and Father Coughlin in their political views than some European right wingers are from the darker demagogues of Europe’s bloody past, and until the European establishments understand this, they will likely continue to misjudge the state of American politics.

Of course, Father Coughlin and Huey Long were actually lefties, though they favored fascist-style politics — which were also lefty politics then, of course. And now?

But they’re probably also afraid that the Tea Party is about slashing elite privilege, of which Europe’s ruling class has even more than America’s.