Responding to comments made in the papers and elsewhere, I would like to correct a misconception about the recent Tea Party events- they were not Republican events.
Although many Republicans jumped on the Tea Party movement, the Tea Parties themselves were not 'Republican' events- in fact, I would contend that a good percentage of those who attended the Tea Parties didn't vote Republican for President last election, and many voted Libertarian, voted Constitution, or just sat home and grumbled about Ron Paul.
This statement comes from my own interviews with those students of mine who went to the Tea Party in Lansing, MI- I had over 40 of my students attend this event after I let them know about it. As more proof, I saw this video over at theblogprof where South Carolina Republican Congressman Gresham Barrett was booed off the stage for voting in favor of stimulus bills and TARP and other spending packages.
Those who were booed- those who raised taxes and spending. Those who were not- those who didn't. The Tea Parties were not partisan.
If you want to watch the video yourself (there is one guy in the crowd who impressively shouts 'go home' the whole time), here it is on youtube.