A government that uses intimidation, surveillance, and control of media to quell dissent deprives itself of good information about the population’s concerns. People keep their concerns to themselves out of fear. Grievances are driven underground, to fester. Not having a good handle on what people want, the government risks being blindsided by a sudden explosion of repressed anger. Repression also fosters conspiracy; fearful of expressing themselves publicly, people learn to form secret cabals; they become experts at dissimulation.
While that was written about how autocratic governments disconnect and then topple; it does sound like a pretty good explanation for the rise of the tea party. The Listen to Us sentiment seems to be the starting point for any Tea Party Rhetoric.