If you look at the 400-or-so comments you'll see a lot of Americans are still fighting the Civil War, and many of those same people took particular offense at my passing remark that the Tea Partiers are spiritual descendants of the Fire Eaters in the 1850s.
Do Tea Partiers own slaves? No. But they distrust and despise the Federal government, defy its authority, defend intolerance under the slogan "states' rights," run for national office with the purpose of undermining or dismantling national government, are willing to destroy a mainstream political party on the general principle of "rule or ruin," do all this in the name of the Constitution and, yep, every so often they call for secession.
(By the way, not all the Fire Eaters owned slaves themselves, and many professed their belief that the South's peculiar institution was hugely beneficial to black people because it civilized and Christianized them. No bigots they...)