There is an inherent lack of integrity within what we know as the tea party. In many areas, it started life as a genuine grass roots party setting out to fight corruption and money in federal politics -- a potential enemy, in fact, of both major parties. Then it was bought out, largely by Koch money.
The original bipartisan protesters dropped away, and it became a largely white conservative movement, or perhaps more accurately a tool of a reactionary conservative movement dating back beyond even the Birchers.
These major players saw early the historic potential of the Tea Party as a populist uprising that could remake the GOP and reorder national politics.
"The drama is what it's going to do to the Republican party," says Harvard professor Theda Skocpol, co-author of the book The Tea Party and the Remaking Of Republican Conservatism. "I mean, if the Republican party actually wins the presidency, the House, and the Senate in the fall, it will remake American public policy in three months.
"I mean, they aren't going to stop. They're going to act very, very fast." ...NPR
But they aren't embraced by most of America and the reaction to acting "very, very fast" may be very, very negative.
... Some are describing the Tea Party as resurgent, just months after it seemed all but irrelevant.
"In general, the Tea Party has a pretty negative image among the general public but it remains, I think, a very potent force within the Republican Party," he says.
Abramowitz, who teaches at Emory University, says polls peg Tea Party approval at just 25 percent among the public at large but he says, "When you have a Republican primary electorate, you have a group of voters who are quite conservative and in many cases a majority of those Republican primary voters identify with the Tea Party movement."
But that only shakes things up when the Tea Party votes as a block. That's what worked for Cruz and Mourdock. The Republican presidential primaries were a different story. There were simply too many candidates staking a claim to Tea Party votes. ...NPR
In the long run -- that is, if tea party Republicans take the White House and Congress in November -- the real impact is likely to be felt mostly by the Republican party. With at least 75% of American voters panting to throw the tea party out for good, the Republican party will find itself on the outs as well.