I’ve been reading some random history recently, and this reminds me of the old differences between the Puritans and the Separatists, two of the groups involved in the early colonization of America from England. The Puritans wanted to purify the church; the Separatists thought it was so hopelessly corrupt that they needed to break away and start their own.Mitt Romney is not the man to ride this change. It's not clear who is. It's also not clear that there is a man who can or should - rather, the Team Party seems like the Open Source software movement: decentralized and motivated by a common core philosophy.
Similarly, many libertarians have completely abandoned the Republican party as corrupted beyond repair. But there are others working to change it from the inside. While the “Separatists” struggle to even get on ballots as Libertarians and then maybe end up with 1% or 2% of the vote, there are “Puritans” managing to get on some ballots as Republicans and actually getting sent to Washington. Many Separatists would argue that Rand Paul isn’t even close to being a real libertarian, but, come on, he’s actually getting millions of people to listen to his arguments about cutting back the military. He might even have more influence on Washington than his father right now – let’s take what we can get!
The advantage is like what OSS saw against Microsoft. While Microsoft was able to kill Netscape, there's "nobody" to go after in OSS. Similarly, the Democrats and their running dog lackeys in the Media have tried to demonize the Tea Party, but there's nobody as a focal point. Alinksy said to personalize and freeze, and that's been a big failure so far.
But it seems that some day there will need to be that candidate who is the focal point, if the Tea Party wants to get its big Philosophical goal (actually reducing the size of government) accomplished.
As to Romney, keep your eye on his appointments once he's elected. Just as Obama filled his administration with lefty true believers, we'll know that there's home from Romney if we see a bunch of non-establishment types taking major posts. Confidence is not high.