Further evidence of the Tea Party's irrelevance. I think the TPers reached their expiration date November 3, 2010. A new batch won't be needed for a year or so, in time for 2012.
Joe Miller was Tea Party and Sarah Palin endorsed, yet lost to the first successful write in candidate for Senate in a half century in Palin's home turf. Other TP Purity Over Practicality "wins", like Christine O'Donnell in the east and Ken Buck in the west, assured Democratic control of the Senate.
A ramp-up of Tea Party frothing in selection of a GOP Presidential candidate seems, at this point, to be a boon for Obama. With a new election to energize the Beckian fringe it's possible a resurgent Tea Party might give the House back to the Dems, too.
For this admittedly speculative scenario to unfold, the Tea Party will need to rise once more to the GOP siren call. I don't think that's unlikely. The TP is really not much more than the old Religious Right resurrected for one more sodomy session. The weirdest thing about old white Christians is their complete willingness to be taken advantage of over and over again.
Joe Miller and his patroness Palin have made a specialty of exploiting the Tea Party for mostly personal gain. And the Tea Party has mostly been a willing accomplice to its own seduction. It looks like the winter of 2020-2011 might be a rest period before the franticism of 2012.