Excellent story in the NY Times yesterday by David Barstow about the Tea Party movement. Scary too.
It appears that many of the people who are joining the movement have no previous knowledge or interest in politics. As the story describes them, they became interested in what was going on when the recession hit them hard. Being basically ignorant of how the world works, and looking for someone to blame for their hardship, they gravitated to the most extreme answers, as offered by conspiracy nuts like Glenn Beck and the John Birch Society. And having accepted that those nutjobs are the only ones telling them the truth, they will buy into any crazy thing they are told.
For instance, some Teabaggers believe that Obama's health care plan is designed to push them into the arms of giant health insurers. Who do they think is running our health care system now? Doctors? Patients?
The scary thing is that this is a group of people looking for someone else to blame for their troubles, willing to believe things that are far from true. Is this not how the Nazis gained popularity in Germany? And while they don't attack any particular group of people as the Nazis did Jews, it is interesting that these "defenders of the Constitution" are all white, have connections to the anti-government racist crazies in Idaho, and were quite quiet during the years that Bush was wiping his butt with the constitution.
It's a long story, but worth reading. GO HERE FOR THE WHOLE ARTICLE.