I am amazed that everyone is criticizing the IRS for having the temerity to suspect that organizations with "tea party" in their name are principally political. Organization can only be granted 501(c)(4) status (tax exempt and not required to reveal donor names) if they're primarily a social welfare institution and not a political one.
Does anyone believe that the tea party groups are not organized to support the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party? The IRS was correct to suspect them of having primarily political motives. By accepting the tea party label, people identify themselves as hard-line right-wingers.
I wish somebody in the government had the guts to call tea party and "patriot" groups what they are government-hating paranoids who favor the laissez-faire agenda of the late Ayn Rand.
They are mostly working-class folks who've been manipulated by the billionaire Koch brothers and other "malefactors of great wealth" to believe that their future is better served by the greedy rich than by elected government.
They cling tightly to a Constitution few have read or understand, and the big government they fear is the source of their Social Security and Medicare.
Salt Lake City