Excellent article by Walter Russell Mead in this month's issue of Foreign Affairs. You have to log on to read the article, but it is free. Here's an excerpt I found interesting,
The historian Jill Lepore's book The Whites of Their Eyes makes the point that many Tea Party activists have a crude understanding of the politics of the American Revolution. Yet however unsophisticated the Tea Party's reading of the past may be, the movement's appeal to Colonial history makes sense. From Colonial times, resentment of the well-bred, the well-connected, and the well-paid has merged with suspicion about the motives and methods of government insiders to produce populist rebellions against the established political order. This form of American populism is often called "Jacksonianism" after Andrew Jackson, the president who tapped this populist energy in the 1830s to remake the United States' party system and introduce mass electoral politics into the country for good.
Fits well with Maier's description of many of the remote rural colonists who were opposed to the Constitution.
The Gadsden flag is one of the many colonial images the Tea Party has co-opted without any real understanding of the flag's origins.