Second is the responses the Tea Baggers have solicited from progressives in general and the very large well funded Obama political organization. The Obama machine has no interest in fending them off since they have been excellent foil in keeping progressives in line and have pushed the health care debate in the direction of the deals they have already cut with the health care industry (pro-corporate and to the right), and away from more progressive vision of health care reform. And the progressives are fucking worthless -- they don't hate, they don't fight and then they wonder why no one is afraid of them.
Lastly and most importantly, I think the Tea Baggers are really our canary in the mine that we are entering our late empire period. Crisis and decline in such situations does not lead to discrediting the failed ideologies that caused the given crisis, but rather the belief that we are failing because we where not faith full enough to those ideals. (Think of the crisis in Islamic world and the rise of fundamentalism.)
When it comes to history, shit just flows down hill.
"They Don't Hate, They Don't Fight..."
The nature of Tea Baggers from Joe Bageant's blog: