Government is prone to starting wars for all kinds of reasons, to save us from terrorists, to stop illegal drug sales, to end poverty, and, now, to save the country from rightwing terrorists/hostage takers/extremists/loons/racists/homophobes/xenophobes -- yes, The War on Tea Partiers.
The vicious rhetoric on the Left used to marginalize the Tea Party is sometimes infuriating, sometimes hilarious and always hyperbolic and unfair. Anyone who has listened to Tea Party members being interviewed on one of the tv news shows realizes that these people are average Americans concerned with expansion of government power and our national debt. There is also rhetoric coming from some Tea Partiers that harshly criticizes the Left, but the Tea Party is not backed by the State and the media. The Tea Party is hardly radical, though. There has been no violent activity on the part of the Tea Party, no calls for armed conflict with government, not even any calls to dismantle government -- the Tea Party has merely protested current government spending and regulation, and it has campaigned for representatives who will bring their complaints to DC and work for change. It goes without saying that no one has to agree with their complaints, just as many have never agreed with other protest groups and political movements in America, but they're all within in their rights to protest and work for political and economic change.
In the debt ceiling fight, the Tea Party favored some form of Cut, Cap and Balance, but they didn't get it; however, most of the media coverage has framed the Tea Party as controlling the outcome. This media angle is truly bizarre. A record rise in the debt ceiling came about, with some useless commission put together to block any serious cuts of caps or balanced budget, and the media says the Tea Party hi-jacked and controlled the process and outcome -- many disingenuously congratulated them on their victory. There was no Tea Party victory.
It's fairly easy to see the State/media Orwellian twist, spin and propaganda -- create an evil entity on which to focus, then mold public opinion against the evil entity, obscuring the statist manipulations that continue to drive us further into debt and closer to collapse. The progressive movement thrives off crises -- it's the best way to ram through the progressive agenda. If the Tea Party, and by association the Republican Party, can be demonized and framed as immediate threats to our economy and to social justice, then government interventions are necessary to combat the threat. If the Tea Party is threatening the safety net and putting the most vulnerable in society at risk, and if their unreasonable rightwing extremism contributes to high unemployment by resisting government spending in recession, then the threat has to be neutralized so that people receive the necessary assistance, and jobs can be created. The Left has used the Bushian claim that you are either with the benevolent State or you are against it, and many establishment Republicans are siding with the State. Alan Simpson called for government investigation of Grover Norquist, or rather Simpson is advocating bullying tactics to silence and marginalize Norquist by investigating his connections, his backers, his credibility, and so forth.
It was discouraging to watch the establishment Republicans, one by one, capitulate to the Left's War on the Tea Party and come out against them during the debt ceiling debate. This should frighten independents who want change in Washington DC. It should frighten minorities who could see the State use its power against their political action efforts one day. It should frighten all free people who cherish the right to dissent. It should frighten all Americans who care about objectivity and truth in media. The media have lied and used their power, subsidized by the State, to destroy the Tea Party.
Again, you can disagree with the Tea Party, but there's no honest way to support the statist, propagandist attacks against them. In the marketplace of ideas, America has mostly been an oasis for freedom of expression, even harsh expression and disagreement, and open debate, but we're turning into China or Russia when State power and media collusion are used to silence and demonize dissenters and political activists. This is the difference, when the State is involved. You can call tit for tat when both sides use heated rhetoric against one another, but when government. media and the whole State machine comes down against a faction of dissenting American citizens in the private sector, we've got a problem.