The Tea Party has rose to a somewhat frightening degree of political prominence even though its most famous representatives are, let's just say it like it is, stupid. They lack historical knowledge, economic understanding, and at times grammatical principles. They have tried to convince us that it is government profligacy that is their primary target, and yet a hatred for government spending is not the only unifying characteristic they hold.
Ignoring the fact that these are the same people who, in their quest to prevent government control and spending, don't seem to understand what the government does, they are driven by ideals that define regressive idealism and religiosity. The Tea Party is predominantly white, male, and older. I would like to add highly religious to that. I have no data to back that up, but again, since Tea Partiers are predominantly pro-life, and all of the major tea party supporters in politics are pro-life, it must be assumed that they are religious.
I like the idea of less government spending. I won't touch the tea part with a thousand foot pole, but the ideal I like. The mountain of other baggage that they carry prevents them from being anything other than fringe kooks. They do not care about government spending. They care about that, and regressive ideals, and religion, and abortion, and stupidly nebulous ideas of America and nationalism.
They want less spending. If that results in fewer firefighters, or schools, or anything, so be it! Supporting those things don't jive with small government. Damn the consequences, let's indulge our insane ideals first!
My biggest issue is that these people are not driven by a purely conservative belief. That would be fine. I would be a supporter. But they are actually pushing an entire package of beliefs that is classist, seemingly racist, overtly religious, and internally inconsistent. Why is it inconsistent? "Government stay out of my life! Unless, of course, we're preventing a woman from getting an abortion!"