The "Tea Party" is nothing more than a rebranding, a reformulation of the religious right movement that was losing patience with the GOP; a fact which became apparent in the 2006 and 2008 elections when the GOP lost big. So if they could no longer dogwhistle people with "social conservatism", what better way to drum up votes again by blaming the current economic downturn not on hedge fund managers and speculators, but instead on all of those social safety net programs, especially on those not popular with the religious right. The Tea Party is the same old formula as before. Religious fundamentalists, chickenhawks, armchair patriots, nativists, separatists, conspiracy theorists, Neo-Confederates, Neo-Nazis and grumpy old people who just want the welfare kids to get off their damn lawn, these are the usual suspects but this time they're driving the bus. They're driving it towards the cliff and the likes of Boehner and the establishment party members are sitting in the back of the bus as it hurtles to the brink like a suicide bomber's vehicle, except they don't know it is social and political suicide. They're gonna get what they want or they're gonna take everyone down with them.
If the government ceases to exist, they'll be happy then too. No public schools? That's fine with them, they wanted those gone years ago. I remember listening to the likes of Ralph Reed and others saying how Christian schools and homeschooling were the only way to go and they would be more than happy to abolish public education. No public safety? No worries, they have enough guns. Bring on the Apocalypse, that's what they REALLY want.