David Sehat has a great opinion piece up at the Christian Science Monitor where he argues that the current Tea Party has more in common with the antifederalists that opposed the Constitution than they do with the Constitution’s federalist framers.
This argument is instructive, but not quite in the way that tea partiers imagine. Though the tea party’s philosophy is clear enough, it obscures a telling irony: Even though tea partiers appeal to the Constitution to support their position, they often sound more like Antifederalist opponents of the Constitution than the Constitution’s supporters.
This is because the original vision of the Constitution did not seek to keep the national government small and in its place, as the tea partiers claim. The Constitution sought, instead, to strengthen the national government in order to solve the problem of federal taxation.