TropicalMark saidHere, just for your reading pleasure:
Various polls have also probed Tea Party supporters for their views on a variety of political and controversial issues. A University of Washington poll of 1,695 registered voters in the State of Washington reported that 73% of Tea Party supporters disapprove of Obama's policy of engaging with Muslim countries, 88% approve of the controversial immigration law recently enacted in Arizona, 82% do not believe that gay and lesbian couples should have the legal right to marry, and that about 52% believed that "lesbians and gays have too much political power".
I need to travel for work to the US frequently and I have family down in a very blue state so I'm quite familiar with both the popularity and derision that some have for tea party movement. Besides, Canada is practically a blue state.
That said, you're right - on a lot of social issues Tea Partiers lean conservative but the reality is that they are still independent and representative of the larger population even if some in the media has consistently painted them in a negative light because it is a movement they do not understand - or even care to understand. The media however has consistently skewed liberal which isn't terribly surprising given that they do self identify as liberal.
But consider two issues - first tea partiers are pretty much consistent in demographics as the population at large:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fairly-mainstream-demographics.aspx - on the other hand, some like the New York Times have found that Tea Partiers tend to be wealthier and more educated - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/us/politics/15poll.html
But secondly, while many in the movement have conservative social views, many also do not care relative to the economic views that they believe take priority given the state of the economy and debt. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/us/politics/13tea.html
Of course the inconsistency here is that those like Christian would have you believe that the tea partiers are automatons who serve the Koch brothers. The problem with this view of course and what you're saying is that the Koch brothers are on the record as being (adamantly) against the Patriot Act, and for gay marriage.
Parenthetically, the tea party movement I think is more of a political awakening - to which Obama can take much of the credit. The biggest impact they are having may end up being at the local state and even community college/education which suggest that this is not a temporary movement that is a flash in the pan (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/05/24/community_colleges_brush_with_tea_party_movement