What happened to tea-party "rage"?

Gone is the white-hot rage that famously defined the town hall meetings of August 2009 and sent incumbents from both parties packing a year later.

In its place is much of what met Graham at a half-empty Tea Party town hall in North Charleston earlier this week: lingering frustration and continued anger with Washington, but a growing realization within the upstart movement that sustaining a revolution is harder than starting it—and that merely electing conservatives doesn’t guarantee they’ll buck the system they promised to overthrow…

One senior Republican aide says the Senate races may not reflect a decline in Tea Party power as much as the determined efforts of senators like Hatch and Snowe to stay in the activists’ good graces after seeing such colleagues as Utah’s Robert Bennett sent home in 2010…

“The Tea Party has added an energy on the big issues we haven’t had before,” Graham told The Daily Beast after the meeting. “These people are fearless. They could care less about reelection. In that regard, they’re doing the nation a great service.”

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