I haven't been a big booster of the tea-parties. Hell, I haven't been a small booster. I think that protests and street theater are, while a sacred civil right, usually counterproductive. And I don't have much sense of identification with either the right wing grass roots, or the organizers.
Full disclosure: as I've mentioned, before we dated, my boyfriend worked for Freedomworks. Freedomworks is one of the organizers of the tea parties, though not, as some would have it, a shadowy secret organizer--it's on the front page of their website. Neither Peter nor I have now, nor ever have had, any involvement with the tea party movement, though some of our friends have organized and attended them.
You don't have a sense of identification with your boyfriend or you guys' friends? Now, is that a nice thing to say?
And remember, every time you support the tea parties by pooh-poohing their critics, you are forced to discuss your sex life with strangers. That's why reporters often avoid stories with conflicts of interest altogether. But that's getting into professional ethics, so we understand your problem.
Also, it's not always the best idea to remind one's readers that one's associates are tea-baggers. Even former tea-baggers.