Mark Lilla has a New York Review piece on the Tea Party that has been getting some attention. John Sides at The Monkey Cage thinks Lilla is wrong, among other things, to argue that there has been a secular (i.e. non-cyclical) decline over time in the U.S. population's trust in government. I think Sides makes some telling criticisms on a number of points, but on this particular point he hasn't completely convinced me. I left a comment at his post explaining why.
Update: Sides responds here.