The Tea Party has been very good to these folks. It put them in the echo chamber, with a chance to cash in if they can sell stuff to enough grouchy people. It's what makes America great.Read the whole thing here.
I've been reading about Samuel Adams, the original Tea Party guy. There's some dispute about whether he organized the Boston Tea Party in 1773, but there's no dispute that he organized the meeting that preceded it.
Oddly, Sam Adams never made a single dime off his protests or his patriotism, unless you count being elected governor of Massachusetts late in life. Historian Pauline Maier of MIT, one of his biographers, wrote that Adams was "a man utterly uninterested in making money or possessing money."
He'd never make it in politics today.
Some related content: Conservatives Blast STL Tea Party for Astroturfing, Profitizing and Radicalizing the Movement