The grassroots "base" in both the Republican and Democratic party has become animated by a new or invigorated perception of class struggle. The politicians in each party have echoed these themes. While both sides see themselves as defending the oppressed or the neglected common person against the establishment, for the most part the two movements have looked upon each other with hostility, seeing more allies in the very halls of power they claim are so irredeemably corrupt than in the crowds agitating for reform on the other side of the political spectrum.
The populist Right has taken to the Tea Party movement, energized by the 2008 TARP bailouts and the election of Barack Obama — a president regarded as out of step with mainstream America and sometimes depicted as a socialist attempting to overthrow the nation's putative free-enterprise system. That movement, taking its name from the subversive civil disobedience of the American Revolution, can claim some nominal lineage from the largely libertarian Ron Paul presidential campaign of 2007 and 2008. However, it became clear that by the time Obama was sworn in and the Tea Party rallies began to proliferate, the general flavor of the movement was not as "in line" with Paul's message as the much smaller Tea Party rallies during the tail end of the Bush administration had been.