The activists who borrowed Tea Partying from Ron Paul supporters discovered a little document called "The Constitution." And they like what they found. That's why old Republican party hacks will get together to sign a paper at George Washington's house.
This new statement of principles was drafted and signed by the publisher of The American Spectator magazine, Reagan attorney general Ed Meese, second-generation movement leader L. Brent Bozell, and other regular Americans who've been members of the Conservative Elite since the Carter administration. (And Kathryn Jean Lopez.) The group was led by the president of the Heritage Foundation. So, you know, just a bunch of concerned American citizens, brought together by their shared respect for the ideals of our Founders.
But some Tea Partiers don't think a bunch of elderly establishment Republicans are the best spokespeople for a new nonpartisan grassroots movement! Like Ned Ryun, president of activist-training grassroots group American Majority. According to Ryun, this is just more talk. Conservatives "have been stuck in the mind-set that good ideas win out simply because they're good ideas. Without proper organization, they don't."
Oh, Ryun also happens to be the son of a former Republican congressmen. These guys really are like the founders: rich, old, landed gentry.
The statement itself (published, like Buckley's famous Sharon Statement, on a Wordpress blog) is some boilerplate about recommitting ourselves to the Constitution as our Founders wrote it. They are suspiciously quiet on the subject of Amendments to the Constitution, but we can assume they intend to honor them. It is a little odd to see the social conservatives (who hate the Establishment Clause) and "national security" conservatives (who hate 90% of the Constitution but especially the Fourth Amendment and the Suspension Clause establishing the writ of habeas corpus) signing on with the economic conservatives (who really genuinely do like the Constitution, not counting the 16th Amendment, because they'd like to see a rickety old Federal government designed to facilitate trade between 13 largely agrarian colonies crippled in its attempts to govern a massive post-industrial continent-spanning empire), but these guys do always tend to get along so well when they are not in power.
But yes, by all means, let's go back to the intent of the original founders (none of whom could even agree with each other on the aim, size, and scope of the federal government) and let's destroy the entire National Security apparatus (Mr. Mt Vernon himself did not want us involved in that nonsense at all, remember?), prosecute the Bush administration for its various violations, severely restrict executive power, and, most importantly, let us dissolve the United States Senate, which is a slap in the face to the Constitutional Ideal of "one man, one vote."
If those were the principles these activists united to support, we would vote a straight Tea Party line this November. But for some crazy reason we're pretty sure all they actually want is to torture brown people forever, eliminate the Estate Tax, and ban abortion. Just like Jefferson.