In this election, you can glimpse the brutish future of American politics. This new age of brutishness may or may not include the Tea Party. But, even if the Tea Party dissipates, the anger undergirding it will not. The Tea Party has expertly articulated a widespread grievance: that the government is redistributing money from hardworking Americans to the idle and undeserving. Of course, this is hardly a new charge. But it takes place in a new context–an age of growing austerity, where this complaint will acquire an ever-sharper edge and battles over the scarce resources of the state will erupt in spectacular skirmishes.