I'm not understanding what so-called liberals, Democrats, and the rest of us on the left and throughout the public aren't getting about these people: they're not a real political party or a movement, they're really just Republicans with no sense of irony or satire.
What don't you people get? They're still Republicans, they haven't changed at all, and no, it's not all about the fact that they cannot emotionally cope with a Black American president. It's not the entire picture with these clowns. Yes, I agree with the logic of the question, "Well, where were they when Bush was wrecking the country?" Where indeed?
I'll tell you where: they were yelling that they were part of his camp, crowing "WE'RE driving the bus NOW!" and making general asses of themselves as is their wont to do. They can't help it. This is why they're continuing on their Children's Crusade over a cliff, and once again, parading their insufficiency as functional, reasoning human beings. We already know that many of them are small businessmen over 40. When you look at the composition of their rallies, it's not inclusive. The majority of the faces are white, male, and middle-aged. What it comes off as is a last, dying gasp of the worst elements of the Baby Boomer generation, a generation fixated on their own entitlement, but not especially atypical in such regards.
None of this flailing, posing, and of course, yelling, is going to fix America anytime soon, but that's why billionaire far right extremists like the Koch dynasty are bankrolling many of these fake populist gatherings. They know that these are the inevitable deficits of humanity that one finds in all modern societies, the eternally lost, the naive, the stupid. None of this is truly real. Yes, some of these people began at the urging of the small-minded Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, but this was never a spontaneous rising of the public.
An admittedly compacted and generalized schematic is in order:
1. A segment of fiscal and socially conservative Republicans feel burned by the Bush II administration at its endpoint. They got even more government under his term, and Roe v. Wade is still standing. They begin denying in public that they're Republicans, and frequently misquote the Constitution for no apparent reason.
2. Barack Obama is elected the first African-American President of the United States because he is not George W. Bush or a Republican.
3. Shit hits the proverbial fan and freaks like Ron Paul and Dick Armey begin the push to stimulate what has been mislabelled ever since (by the very people within it and backing it) as a "movement." It is not a movement, more a controlled rabble. The fragmentary "group"is really just a demographic of mostly petty bourgeois held together by one thing: they don't like that the Democrats won the election (some even hinting at insurrection, no less), but that they really don't like Barack Obama. Oh yes, and they don't like paying taxes...at all. Many of them also have a weird emotional attachment to the rich and perversely fight for that group's right not to pay any taxes.
4. No need for a replay of the health care debate.
5. Meanwhile--back at the ranch--all these "Tea Baggers" are denying that they're Republicans.
6. The 2010 midterms loom, and people denying they're Republicans vote once again for Republican candidates, most-of-whom are chosen by the RNC to run, to serve the interests of Wall Street and the rest of the Lollipop Guild.
Now, exactly why are they any different and what are they doing that's any different, ultimately? This is truly impossible to satirize. There is no Tea Party. It's not a party. It's not a real group. It's a Shibboleth, put out there as a distraction. Mission accomplished.