"TEA in Tea Party means Taxed Enough Already and underlies the basis of those who joined in an effort to do something about improving the situation. All else is speculation to be used by propagandists to spin their own ignorant paranoia left or right for their own personal benefit.
Unjust taxes, illegal taxes, and improper use of taxes was the final straw that drew these people from accross the political specrum, and thus includes sections of every group that pays taxes who are unhappy with the current state of affairs wrought by those tax dollars. They are as varied in scope as is the general population.
Constitutional purists perhaps see the greatest amount of agregious perversion of the Constitution by politicians over the last 150 years regarding taxes. All other tax payers have their own additional veiws of the injustices for varying reasons and lengths of time, and have various solutions they would like office holders to pursue, including fair tax, smaller government, etc. instead of spending us into a deeper hole. Does it make any sense to keep digging if digging got your in a hole to start with? No. Does using a bigger shovel to dig deeper get you out? Not even close.
The Tea Party revolves around the issues of justice, self sufficiency, self determination, self respect, and respect for others, little of which remains in the offices of our government and the media these days. This is why the movement is eliminating the incumbents where possible and replace them with more moral, loving individuals that know and understand the Constitution in the spirit and letter of which it was wriutten. Individuals who sincerely care about those they serve and the needs they have. (It is also why we have dramatically reduced buying traditional media forms like newspapers and newsmagazines as they have become so much biased propaganda by commentators instead of factual accounts by reporters.)
Thus the TEA parties are not a clear target for media propogandist to label and attack, though with their fear and ignorance they try. Eah one is a various mix with a different tack. Tea parties are not a clear target for the political parties to label and attack, though they try for the same reasons. We are quite aware of the slimy backroom takeover plans from neo-cons like Dan Quale, Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich, etc. that try to come in at the top . We are also aware of those on the left who are trying to infiltrate through the bottom. However, the TEA party movement is not a heiarchal structure to easily label, infiltrate, takeover, or topple though the "business as usual" party's talking heads try.
You asked where were "these people" during the Bush years. We also railed against Bush and were beaten, gased, tasered, and the media for the most part, ignored us as insignifigant. Perhaps if you had done a better job as a professional you would have known that. We have grown and made such inroads that now the "business as usual" crowd knows this awakening can not be stopped. We are the people and we will have our country back from the greedy clutches of elitists who think they know better how to run our life than we do, the corrupt politicians easily bought and sold by special interests, socialists, communists, fascists, racists, and other ignorant people who ridicule the Constitution and/or those who support it.
We are many millions and growing larger everyday. We will not be quiet, we will not shut up and sit down, we will not take the red pill or the blue pill, we will not follow anyone blindly anymore. We are all races, all ages, all sexes, all political parties, and no political party at all. We are wealthy, we are poor and we are middle class. We are teachers, we are preachers, we are construction workers, we are business owners, we are everyone from every shore, farm, city, and anywhere you can think of. We have awakened and thousands more are awakening everyday and we shall take back the leadership of our lives and thus our country by turning our office holders into servants instead of kings, and into followers of the people instead of leaders.
I respectfully suggest everyone get educated in the specifics of the founders' stated intents in the founding documents instead of hiding behind ANY organization including the ACLU to do your thinking for you. Membership in an organization doesn't mean a damn thing even if you carry a card. Or you can continue to sit on your duff, complain about what you don't know first hand, call people names, defame by association, and collect a paycheck, serving as a major part of the pollution.
However, we Americans are keeping our eyes on the goal of freedom and taking the necessary steps in regaining it and maintaining it. That is the truth that sets us free."