I don't trust Politico any more than I trust MSNBC, but this is an interesting article. And having lived through the rise and fall, I'd say he was pretty correct.
How many "Tea Party Candidates" did we get elected, only to have them turn out to be RINOS? How did so much good energy, good intentions, and good money end up with, essentially, no results?
"What began as an organic, policy-driven grass-roots movement was drained
of its vitality and resources by national political action committees
that dunned the movement’s true believers endlessly for money to support
its candidates and causes. The PACs used that money first to enrich
themselves and their vendors and then deployed most of the rest to
search for more “prospects.” In Tea Party world, that meant mostly
older, technologically unsavvy people willing to divulge personal
information through “petitions”—which only made them prey to further
attempts to lighten their wallets for what they believed was a good
cause. While the solicitations continue, the audience has greatly
diminished because of a lack of policy results and changing political