I read an article this morning in the New York Times about the people who make up the Tea Party phenomenon, and a comment made by one of the folks interviewed stuck out: "[i]f you don't trust the mindset or value system of the people running the system, you can't even look at the facts anymore...." I found this quote interesting because it, reasonably, could be applied to anyone who is in opposition to whomever is in power. But, the fascinating part for me is that for these Tea folks, facts really didn't matter during the Bush administration.
They have called continually for fiscal responsibility, beginning in January of 2009. They have expressed real concern about deficits, once Obama started trying to right the ship. They are concerned about government takeovers and "socialism," yet they enjoy the benefits that the "socialist" government programs provide.
I think that Frank Rich is on the right path toward understanding the Tea Party phenomenon, but I think that there is also a delusional element that has led too many of these people to believe that the Founding Fathers were 21st century conservative Republicans, and everything that Democrats believe is in contradistinction to anything the Founders believed. And I remain intrigued by this notion of "wanting my country back."
So, I would recommend a solid historical review of the years 2001-2009, before jumping all the way back to the Founding Fathers. Then, I would recommend that the Tea people actually read about the Founding Fathers and then see if there are genuine commonalities. Now, I still think that many of these people are just pissed off Republicans still mad that Obama won, and I also think that regardless of what Obama does or will do, these same people will be against him.