Sunday, August 7th 2011, 11:56 AM
The former Democratic National Chairman said the group was to blame for the debate which held the country on edge for weeks and greatly damaged the American economy.
"This is a Tea Party problem," the fiery politician said. "They are totally unreasonable and doctrinaire and not founded in reality.
"I think they've been smoking some of that tea, not just drinking it."
He also warned that even Republicans were being held hostage by the strict debt-reduction group that swept through Congress in the last mid-term elections.
"The American people are there, Democrats are there. A lot of reasonable Republicans are there," he said. "But they are terrified of these right-wing splinter groups, the radical right, because they are so powerful in the primaries."
Dean said he thinks the downgrade in America's credit store by Standard & Poor's could turn out to be a good thing because it could help Democrats earn enough political capital to do what everyone has been too politically shy to attempt: raise taxes.
With America in such deep financial trouble, he pointed out even some Republicans acknowledge that there has to be a new form of revenue coming in if America wants to make any kind of progress on the massive debt overtaking the country.
"This is ridiculous what's going on here," he said.
Dean is not the first Democrat to openly question the Tea Party's sanity. Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden reportedly likened compromising with them to negotiating with terrorists.