(CNN) - As the National Tea Party Convention concluded this weekend, it's clear that the Tea Partiers are propelled by two competing claims - a principled commitment to fiscal conservatism and a serious case of Obama Derangement Syndrome.
The first group remains true to the roots of the movement as it emerged almost one year ago amid bailout backlash. They feel like modern Paul Reveres, warning their fellow citizens about the unsustainable nature of our government's deficit spending and unprecedented debt.
They still have an important civic role to play in our national debate.
The second group reflects the overheated, hyperpartisanship that emerged over the August town halls and the 9/12 march on Washington.