The Tea party started as a grassroots organization with objectives that I could agree with- if only superficially. Primarily, fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately some of their proposed methods take cues from the more whacko Libertarian-Objectivist crowd. (I am a capitalist, but we tried absolute laissez-faire capitalism in the 19th century, and it wasn't pretty.) But then even worse, being a grassroots organization, they were hijacked by groups with Other Goals. The fiscal goals have become a smokescreen for the usual "social conservative" hatemongering. It really isn't hard to find. Plus I'll reiterate that though religion is fine and dandy I certainly don't want my government to be based upon one someone's dominionist fantasies. Matt and any others who claim that this takeover isn't happening- you're kidding yourselves. The Tea Party is absolutely getting taken over by such people. But my biggest objection to them is their utter irrationality about "standing for their principles" and "no compromises", even if this leads to a disaster like the recent shutdown.
Brother, if you are a politician then compromise is your JOB. The battle over the ACA had been fought in the Senate and the House (both did vote, despite what some of the more irrational Obama-haters claim) and the opposition lost. Get over it, and move on to more important issues. Plus, on that note, the current Tea Party is based almost entirely on the proposition that Obama is the antichriSt. They get rather irrational about the issue- birthers and all- and basically are just trying to foil anything that the man tries to do, out of spite. It's hard to support a group that is so irrationally hateful.
And, having just read Craig W.'s bit about pseudo-fascism... wow. That sort of rings true.
Of course, though it wasn't really the question the OP asked, the far left also gets my ire. For instance, I think that Nancy Pelosi is just as bad as Michelle Bachman, though in an inherently different way. Whereas Nancy Pelosi is just the classic self-absorbed elitist "I know what's best for you" socialist would-be dictator, Michelle Bachman is actually insane. :) She's damned near clinically paranoid (theories about a gay conspiracy to have her assassinated) and quite literally thinks that God talks to her. Well, I don't know about the rest of you but in my experience about 99.999999% (as a low estimate) of people throughout history who have claimed that they hold conversations with God have been either insane or con-artists or both. If that's the face of the Tea Party then, yes, the movement should be treated as the laughingstock that it is. What's scary is that there are still so many people supporting it (doubtless drawn to those "social conservative" platforms I mentioned).
Of course, Matt's bit about how liberals tend to be tolerant of everyone except those who disagree with them (and degenerate to name-calling) is pretty much spot on. But then again, their incessant playing of the "race card" is certainly no worse that the fictional plot against Christians that the right keeps trying to proclaim. (Apparently, trying to prevent them from forcing their belief-system upon everyone else constitutes genocide, or something.)
EDIT-- @Fred- And what will you say when it does end up driving costs down for everyone? Because it's kind of irrational to claim that it's doing otherwise, as well. We don't know yet. But somehow I keep hearing right-wingnut politicans giving soundbites about how bad the ACA is performing and how it is harming Americans, driving up prices, etc. Which is patently drivel.
It's going to take years to figure out what happens to healthcare premiums under ACA. Personally, I think that it very obviously will lead to lower premiums. (If nothing else it eliminates the defacto regional monopolies that some insurance providers have had, so now *gasp* they'll actually have to compete.) What all of the anti-ACA people don't understand is that they are already paying for other people's healthcare due to COBRA and similar laws- ERs cannot turn people away just because they lack insurance. So who do you think pays for their medical care? Answer- ultimately, we the insured do, through higher premiums. But if all of those uninsured people get insurance they will presumably get better preventative care (not to mention actually paying a bit for insurance to begin with), and have less ER visits. E.g a diabetic woman with better preventative care will presumably stop coming to the ER in DKA once a month and incurring huge bills that you and I end up paying. So how can it NOT result in lower premiums? (Well, so long as the insurance companies don't conspire to just pocket it as extra profit...)