From the WSJ, this might be the most accurate and concise description of the Tea Party that I've seen:
To be sure, the tea party sports its share of clowns, kooks and creeps. And some of its favored candidates and loudest voices have made embarrassing statements and embraced reckless policies. This, however, does not distinguish the tea party movement from the competition.Born in response to President Obama's self-declared desire to fundamentally change America, the tea party movement has made its central goals abundantly clear. Activists and the sizeable swath of voters who sympathize with them want to reduce the massively ballooning national debt, cut runaway federal spending, keep taxes in check, reinvigorate the economy, and block the expansion of the state into citizens' lives.In other words, the tea party movement is inspired above all by a commitment to limited government. And that does distinguish it from the competition.
This is why I call myself a Tea Party activist.
Read the rest here.
OTB: Dismiss the Tea Party at your peril... "The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."
"First they ignore you..."