Bag Me With A Spoon
Teabaggers are the liberals' best friends. Without them, most liberals would dredge up whatever used reactionary outrage they could find, regardless of actual weight or seriousness. But the teabaggers offer plenty of ripe material. This allows liberals to ignore or play down whatever "disappointment" they feel with Obama, and ensures continued loyalty to the Dems, however hesitant their allegiance occasionally seems.
This is not to say that teabaggers, birthers, Birchers, and other flag-draped eccentrics aren't unsettling, especially in angry groups. Some of the shit they spew is from another dimension entirely -- a living Ralph Steadman portrait. In a depoliticized nation of over 300 million consumers, there's bound to be confusion, ignorance, hatred, and delusion, as well as those who urge on and profit from this lunacy. Anything to keep people divided and focused on narrow issues and general distractions. But this is hardly a unique right wing feature.
Noam Chomsky says that the teabaggers are proof of the left's weakness and failure. If so, it's been a long time coming. Ever since liberals embraced the corporate statism of Bill Clinton, working and poor people left behind and trampled are less and less a liberal concern, to the degree they ever truly were. Professional liberals possess very little class consciousness, save for those in the upper tiers who understand and accept how the game is played. The rest of us are pretty much on our own.
At least the teabaggers are in the streets, battling for their perceived interests. Liberals are more obedient at the moment, applauding or overlooking policies they would jeer and protest if a Repub president oversaw the scene. Liberals decry possible teabagger violence, but do nothing about the killing machine operated by Obama. Despite some mild dissent, most liberals are still very much in love with Their President and want him to succeed (one of The Nation's main worries). What "success" means to them is subjective, since objectively, Obama faithfully serves those with real power, while keeping his followers in check. Not that he has to do much to keep them quiescent. If that's not success, I don't know what is.