I think Mychal raises a very important question. From what I know of history and what I know of the idea behind The Tea Party it seems to me that the Tea Party had a lot of that spirit in it.
Furthermore I can very easily believe that certain crafty strategists from the ‘other side’ might have had an intent to infiltrate it and turn it away from it’s original purpose and potential strength.
I don’t claim to be a socio-political pundit but I don’t think the Tea Party is dead either. If anything, I think its mechanism is still there and a lot of people in it, all over the country, are probably madder than ever right now.