It's fairly simple, really - if the Tea Party, um, Party wants to be taken seriously, they have to put a lid on the folks who were immediately drawn to the original messages. A lot of bombast about "death panels", "socialism", "government takeover of health care" and so on, dragged in a bunch of folks who were essentially believing any conspiracy theory about the Obama administration that folks like Dick Armey and Sarah Palin could come up with. The more the Obama administration would deny this stuff, the deeper they dug in their heels. Once you got past that bunch, then there's the "lower taxes, smaller government" group. Which, I suppose, didn't notice that their taxes were lower this year.
The problem with the Tea Party movement is not it's underlying ideology (which I'm still trying to discover, by the way - anyone know where to look?), so much as the disparate groups it attracts. All of these "live free or die" folks probably wouldn't want to work in the coal mines owned by Massey Energy, even though that company does "live free or die" as pretty much its mantra. Unfortunately, it has also attracted a lot of "birthers" who look more and more like closeted (or slightly less than closeted) racists every day, gun rights advocates who don't just talk about having guns, they bring 'em, and the folks who think Obama somehow "stole" the election by getting a lot of people to "vote" for him, as if that's not how it works to begin with.
If you think Tea Partiers are being treated badly, remember that anti-war protesters were herded into "free speech zones" during the last administration (by the police, no less), so that none of the folks they were protesting would have their pretty little ears hurt by having to listen to people saying that what they were doing was wrong.
Also, does it bother anyone that any Senator or Congresscritter that appears at these events is getting there on taxpayer money?