The Tea Party is singularly obsessed with the idea of "states' rights". There is no rational reason why states should be presumed to have rights at all. Historically the doctrine was invented as a way to keep the (mostly Southern) agrarian states from bolting from the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and if anyone pretends that it wasn't part of the original slavery debate then they really don't know their history. Again and again, the doctrine bubbles out of the sewer whenever some part of the populace decides it wants the ability to harm another part---whether that is to squash unions, enact Jim Crow, or invent new exotic ways of criminalizing teh gayz. The Southern economic model, which they've always been eager to export to the whole country (and have somewhat succeeded in, of all places, Wisconsin) is to make sure that the workers are underpaid, economically precarious, and disenfranchised. This keeps them from having any workplace power or even any real chance at mobility----in other words, it is the modern-day method of perpetuating the slave-labor system without the moral repugnance of actual slavery. THIS is what "States' Rights" are all about; the high-flown rhetoric about the genius of the Founders is all distraction and hogwash.
And that's the Tea Party. There's no way to dress that up or make it less repulsive.