From today's New York Times' poll on the Tea Party movement:
They do not want a third party and say they usually or almost always vote Republican. The percentage holding a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, at 57 percent, almost exactly matches the percentage in the general public that holds an unfavorable view of him.
When talking about the Tea Party movement, the largest number of respondents said that the movement’s goal should be reducing the size of government, more than cutting the budget deficit or lowering taxes.
But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”
There are undoubtedly many sincere small government conservatives among the Tea Partiers. But it appears that many hate Big Gubmint, except when it benefits them. And the fact that the majority still love George W. Bush -- he of the Medicare drug benefit, the original bank bailout and the early stages of the car company bailout -- suggests that (for the movement as a whole) what really makes them mad are not violations of principle, but the fact that a Democrat is president.