The tea party movement had to explain to the Republicans as well as to the Democrats that a government can spend and borrow too much, and print too much money. If you do those things to excess, far from having a more prosperous economy and a fairer society you have an economic crisis. Greece, Iceland and Ireland have shown us variants of that.
Now of course the Washington politicians will get to work. Both sides will claim to be co-operating, but they are divided by such a fundamentally different view of what makes a successful economy. They are split over what kind of people Americans are, and what kind of society they wish to live in.
Tea party Congressmen and women will find it difficult to turn round both major parties, or win votes for smaller government and lower taxes given the huge inertia of traditional politics. Democrats will still want to defend their cherished programmes and fight their overseas wars. Some Republicans will be in the long tradition of bigger Republican government. It is good to know there will at least and at last be voices in Washignton that want less spending as well as lower taxes, something that has eluded both Bush and Obama. The bail out boys have been in charge for years and have made a mess.