It's important to remember that a lot of good ideas for improving life in America can't get anywhere because of opposition from GOP moderates:
If the GOP really wanted to think outside the box, and put forward ideas that could appeal to working-class voters, they would become the party of economic nationalism, and insist on fair trade and tight borders. But the Moderates would never agree to this.
If the GOP really wanted to reach out to minority voters, they would try to appeal to African-American voters hurt by a flood of low-wage immigrants. But the Moderates would never agree to this.
If the GOP really wanted to appeal to socially conservative Hispanic voters, they would take a strong stand against gay marriage. But the Moderates would never agree to this.
If the GOP really wanted to appeal to young people, they would cut the defense budget, ask our allies to do more to defend themselves, and pledge to avoid unnecessary wars. But the Moderates would never agree to this.
If the GOP really wanted to establish itself as the party that cares about civil liberties, they would re-write the Patriot Act, break up the Department of Homeland Security, and resist further government intrusions on our freedom. But the Moderates would never agree to this either.
So on issue after issue, the GOP is trapped in the unpopular legacy of the Bush years -- not because of anything that the Tea Party has done, but because folks like Jeb Bush, John McCain, and Lindsay Graham insist on sticking to policies that are not working. Under these circumstances, the only thing left for Tea Partiers to do is what they are doing -- use their power of the purse to limit the harm that the Federal Government can do, and block as many Obama/Moderate bi-partisan deals as possible.