Bill Maher has a point —
Maher is going for laughs, but I think a serious case could be made that the teabaggers represent the kind of mob factionalism the Founding Fathers most dreaded. See, for example, James Madison from Federalist #10 —
The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.
Madison goes on to say that “The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation.” However, he also believed factions would not be a threat to the nation as a whole because it was too big to be taken over by any one group —
The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.
However, modern technology has changed that, especially communication technology. Now “a general conflagration” can spread everywhere in an instant.
Maher is right that the Founding Guys were the elites — aristocrats, for the most part — of their time, and part of the objection some expressed to creating a strong central government was the possibility that it could be taken over by a mob of common, ignorant men.