Tea Party candidates plan to buck the party leaders once they get to Washington:
Insurgent Republican candidates hoping to win election to the United States Senate have made one thing clear: They are not coming to Washington to make friends. [...]
But, while these potential new members of the Senate defeated establishment-favored GOP contenders in their states’ primaries by promising to upset the status quo in Washington, former and current Republican aides aren’t expecting a political earthquake. They say they’re confident that McConnell will deftly handle the new conservative arrivals by incorporating them — and their ideas — into the larger caucus.
I seriously doubt that Tea Party Republicans will be in any way distinctive from "regular" Republicans. It's not just that they bear a serious similarity to standard-issue Republican politicians but that the Tea Partiers most likely to win are also strong candidates with roots in the local party establishment.
Marco Rubio, for instance, is a longtime member of the Florida House of Representatives; there's no reason to think that he wouldn't be ready to work with party leaders. The same goes for Ken Buck in Colorado (if he wins) and the many GOP House candidates who have used the Tea Party brand to leverage themselves in this year's elections. Every class of "insurgent" Republicans eventually falls in line with the leadership, and this group will do the same.
-- Jamelle Bouie