... I'm glad you asked.
This is a highly edited version of the original rant. I apologize to anyone whose eyeballs I hurt with the wall of text.
First, there is a leadership problem... Michele Bachmann is the leader of the House Tea Party Caucus, and her ignorance is staggering.http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/01/21/michele-bachmann-iowa-misstatementshttp://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/04/historian-michele-bachmann-blames-fdrs-hoot-smalley-tariffs-for-great-depression.phphttp://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/28/255687/bachmann-founding-fathers-flub/
Lies, flubs, and sheer ignorance. Now, to be fair, memorizing the presidents isn't critical (and confusing John Adams with John Q. Adams is not a crime); It's more important to understand what happened, and why. But believing the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery is not only wrong, but embarrassing, especially when one deifies the Founding Fathers.
The big organizations don't understand the Constitution that they worship. According to teaparty.org
"Commonsense, Conservative, Constitutional Self-Governance Is Our Mode Of Operation. Yes, we are a Christian nation
. However, you do not have to be a Christian to enjoy freedom. The Tea Party welcomes all red-blooded U.S. Citizens."http://www.teaparty.org/about-us/
Never mind there's no use of the word "Christian" in the Constitution, if the US is a Christian nation, which sort of Christians are in charge? What are the other red-blooded citizens supposed to do? Pay taxes to a state-supported church they will resent? _Burn the countryside_ like the Europeans did during the Thirty Years War?
For the Tea Party as a whole, a majority don't know which president was behind TARP... This was cited as a huge sticking point for the tea party, and this is not ancient history, but they still got it wrong.http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/tarp-government-bailout-ends-sunday-started-bush-gop/story?id=11765955
Then there are some discrete incidents that I found interesting, but are likely insignificant. I like to point to the New Hampshire "Magna Carta" Bill as a sure sign the Tea Party is full of kooks, but to be fair, 1)the bill died, and 2) it was just one state legislature -John Boehner didn't propose this on the House floor, it was a bored old man in one of the smaller states.http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/HB1580.html
The overall impression I get from the Tea Party is that they believe in some sort of golden age that never happened, project their own desires onto the documents they revere, but don't fully understand, and imagine the Founding Fathers were a monolithic entity in whole agreement with the tea party , even on events and concepts that had not yet come to pass. When they do something foolish, they get mad and insist they are passionate
, not like those evil cynics on the Hill! But they still don't know what they're doing.
The voters are able to see through the bluster, now.