Many people in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen are staging wide-spread protests against autocratic governments that were elected, if you can call it that, by sham processes. Their governments have been corrupt, the top raking in all kinds of benefits with no accountability, the bottom requiring bribes to do the simplest things, like even apply for a government job.
The protesters are fighting the police and army with their large presence, stones, and returned tear-gas canisters (made in the U.S.A.) In Alexandria, the protest was so overwhelming that the police gave up and shared water bottles with the protesters.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S.A., underwriter of these corrupt regimes in the name of defense, some Tea Party supporters are appearing in public with weapons to protect themselves against "the overreaching government".
How is the government "overreaching"? It is taxing them more than they would like to provide services they claim they don't like. They complain that their freedoms are being taken away, but it seems that they have plenty of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly to express their views. Have you heard any reports of blocking of the internet, shutting down newspapers, or canceling the licences of broadcasters in order to silence supporters of the Tea Party?
How were these "overreaching" government activities achieved? By elected officials and their appointees. Sure, we see flawed elections. But the Floridas and Ohios are the exceptions rather than the rule. Do we have corruption and bribery? Sure! But how often are those who complain about or who expose corruption put in jail or otherwise silenced? If such silencing was going on, would we even have a Tea Party?
If America is supposedly "exceptional", would we even have a Tea Party to complain about all the things that "are wrong"?