I wrote my thesis on the Tea Party movement.
First of all, Sarah Palin is not a part of the Tea Party. The Tea Party does not align themselves with either the Democrats OR the Republicans. They are equally pissed off at everybody. Palin tried to ride their coattails and they told her off for it.
The Tea Party is not a political party. When polled, they do not think that there should be a third party, nor do they consider themselves one or want to create them. They are an interest group, a political movement, a series of think tanks.
Attikos is correct: they are a true grassroots movement (which makes generalizations about them difficult). Ackman is also correct: they are a fragmentation of the Republican party (this does not mean they ARE Republican: they are [mostly] FORMER Republicans). They self-identify as the alienated Republican Party base. They want to influence the existing parties.
Additionally, Sarah Palin never said that you can see Russia from Alaska. Tina Fey said that on SNL. Sarah Palin stated, accurately, that Russia has invaded Alaska's airspace from time to time. You also can see Russia from an Alaskan island.
Perhaps you should fact-check before calling others dumb.