Professor Seth brings an amusing episode to my attention. Apparently Dick Armey was flummoxed by a perfectly reasonable question regarding tea-baggers citing the Federalist Papers for guidance when their primary author, Alexander Hamilton, was the pre-eminent advocate for a strong Federal government amongst the founders.
I've long thought that Hamilton gets a bad rap amongst modern liberals. He's dismissed as a monarchist or elitist when in fact he laid the intellectual and political structure for a strong and active Federal government. It's likely that Hamilton would have been manning the ramparts with the New Dealers in the 1930s.
On the other hand the Democratic Party clings to Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson as the party's forebearers. Thomas Jefferson was the original tea-bagger - a risable small government advocate who revered rural America.