While they are vehemently anti-government, Tea Party members at the same time want the government to be quite invasive in the private life of individuals.
They support legislation requiring unnecessary procedures for women seeking abortion. They want state-imposed morality, in the form of constitutional amendments defining marriage. And they see the state as a protector of Christian and family values.
It may come as a surprise to Tea Partiers, but communists were similarly anti-state, at least in theory. Marx famously defined the state as an instrument of oppression of one class by the other. He had predicted that, under communism, it would simply wither away – in other words, you wouldn’t even have to drown it in the bathtub.