This was to have been part 3, "Why now?", but I'm interrupting the sequence to draw attention to a number of recent articles germane to previously discussed points.
As to whether Tea Party members are all racist and/or Republican, there is Tea Party Anger Reflects Mainstream Concerns by Juan Williams. Relatively few people have called Juan a right wing racist. CNN, also rarely described as right wing, has Disgruntled Democrats join the Tea Party .
Many bloggers and pundits say it's the level of vitriol that is new and proves racism. For example, when Rush Limbaugh recently called the Obama administration a "regime", Chris Matthews was appalled: ""I've never seen language like this in the American press," he said, "referring to an elected representative government, elected in a totally fair, democratic, American election -- we will have another one in November, we'll have another one for president in a couple years -- fair, free, and wonderful democracy we have in this country…. We know that word, 'regime.' It was used by George Bush, 'regime change.' You go to war with regimes. Regimes are tyrannies. They're juntas. They're military coups. The use of the word 'regime' in American political parlance is unacceptable, and someone should tell the walrus [Limbaugh] to stop using it."
Matthews didn't stop there. "I never heard the word 'regime,' before, have you?" he said to NBC's Chuck Todd. "I don't even think Joe McCarthy ever called this government a 'regime.'"
Well, Byron York at The Washington Examiner looked it up. "... a search of the Nexis database for "Bush regime" yields 6,769 examples from January 20, 2001 to the present... It was used 16 times in the New York Times... "Bush regime" was used 24 times in the Washington Post,... " In fact, it was even used on Chris' own network, MSNBC, by, "Finally -- you knew this was coming -- on June 14, 2002, Chris Matthews himself introduced a panel discussion about a letter signed by many prominent leftists condemning the Bush administration's conduct of the war on terror. "Let's go to the Reverend Al Sharpton," Matthews said. "Reverend Sharpton, what do you make of this letter and this panoply of the left condemning the Bush regime?"
Another article in a similar vein is Against ObamaCare? You're A Racist Hater by Larry Elder. An even more interesting submission is this You Tube video of anti-Bush protestors. It's worth listening through to the end for the protestor who says, "Us Democrats are gonna get up in arms, we'll have to come out and, you know, do what we have to do in the spirit of revolution... we'll have to come out and kill somebody, I guess."
UPDATE: From a poll taken by the Winston Group, released as Behind the Headlines: What’s driving the Tea Party Movement?
"In three national surveys, done for New Models from December 2009 through February 2010, 57% of Tea Party members called themselves Republicans, another 28% said they were Independents, and 13% were Democrats. Two-thirds of Tea Party members identify as conservatives but 26% say they are moderate and 8% described themselves as liberal."