In many ways, the tea party was made for this moment. The grass-roots opposition to President Obama’s agenda that arose in 2009 has been so focused on fiscal concerns that leaders once prevented speakers at tea party rallies from even discussing abortion and other social issues…

Yet as groups across the political spectrum seek to influence any deal to avert the cuts and tax increases set to kick in Jan. 1, the tea party has been unusually — and deliberately — quiet. Members still call and e-mail Congress but have held no rallies and done little lobbying…

“We’re sitting back’’ on the fiscal cliff, said Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest tea party group. Republicans in Congress, she said, “have proven they’re not going to listen to us,’’ adding that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is a “cave man” for his willingness to consider tax increases…

Joe Dugan, a South Carolina tea party activist, is focusing on a tea party convention that will be held in his state in January. He will send Congress a documentary of the event but has no plans to lobby over the fiscal cliff.

“Why in the world would I want to get involved in the games they are playing?” he said.