Quoted in Der Spiegel, the German business daily Handelsblatt says of the Tea Party:
In the US… ‘Right-wing’ represents Reagan, religion, the free market, individualism, patriotism and small government. In reality, it is an impossible mixture: National pride, God and tradition are conservative ‘us’ values. The profit motive, competition and a weak state are ‘me-first’ sentiments .
Quite right. This is the major fault line that runs through the Republican party, and has ever since Nixon.
If the Tea Party does gain much power, I expect quite a struggle between these two groups.