I have two big issues with the Tea Party movement.
Now I know I learned about American History while still living in a foreign country, but having experienced the education system in the US first hand, that may necessarily be a bad thing.
From what I understand, the primary drive behind the whole Boston Tea Party incident was as a protest for taxation, without representation. The British government had decided to levy a tax on the American colonies, a decision in which the colonies had no part and as an act of protest, large quantities of tea where thrown into the Boston harbor. There is a little more to the story which I was previously unaware of, but if you're interested, Wikipedia has a great article on it here.
The tea party folks don't really have the same problem. Their group were formed as a response to the Stimulus bill enacted in early 2009. It wasn't really taxation without representation, they just seem to be upset that their elected representatives made a bad decision. Well kind of...
My first issue, is that the first stimulus package was handed out to various banks and Wall Street firms in 2008. At that time the leader of this country was one George Bush, a republican from Texas, who enjoyed the support of people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh in his various presidential campaigns. It wasn't until the second stimulus package was passed, now under the brand new Democratic President that people got really upset and started a protest movement.
What struck me as odd was that, while there was some dissent resulted from the first bill, it wasn't until the second that the protesters broke out their signs and mobilized. The only difference was the party affiliation of the guy in the white house at the time. Either they missed the boat, or they're merely pawns in a game between political opportunists, but heaven help anyone who might suggest that!
The second issue I have is with those people conducting these protests and organizing them. You may recall that about 8 years ago, the same George Bush heard the voice of God telling him to invade Iraq. People exercised their right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest and held rally's against the war. I was a Glenn Beck fan at the time, and I distinctly remember him talking about how much these people hated America, because they were criticizing the decisions of a sitting president. He also made comments to the effect that it was all the losers of society, those that weren't making a contribution, but living off the proverbial governmental teet, who had the time to attend these protests.
Funny thing is... 8 years later, all of a sudden, the same anti-protesting Glenn Beck, is now one of the de-facto leaders of a movement, whose sole activity seems to be forming protests. And who is it that attends these protests? Apparently now, the protest lines are lined manned by good hardworking Americans, who love their country and their freedom - and apparently have an amazing supply of annual leave built up, in order to attend these protests!
I fully support the rights of people to assemble in protest to the actions of their government. What I find myself exceedingly annoyed with a blatant hypocrisy, that which appears to be one of the founding tenets of the Tea Party Movement.