I remember a few years back the national news in a tizzy about shark attacks. Every week another victim was shark meat and there were no safe harbors anywhere. Turns out that that year, there were about the same number of shark attacks as any other year, and the hullabaloo was self inflicted.
Seems every year, heck, every month a new biggest thing is born. This year, it's the Tea Parties. While the Tea Parties are significant, let's not get ahead of ourselves. The economy sucks, democrats have progressed to being visibly nuts, and Obama-We're-the-ones-we've-been-waiting-for-mania has gone away. Tea Party or no Tea Party, the democrats were going to get crushed.
The Tea Party is not symbolic of liberal woes, but of conservative ones. The tea party is first and foremost a conservative movement, a movement resurrected from the ashes of actual fiscal conservatism. The Tea Party arose to send a message to the Republican party: stick to your principles. We'll see what lasting effect the Tea Parties have in a year...if any of us remember.