My prediction: most Tea Party candidates elected to the US Congress this year will moderate after a few years. Why? Because to get things done in Congress, one must work with House members/Senators who hold different ideological beliefs. "Rambos" don't last long in Congress (with apologies to Sylvester Stallone). If these new members do not work with other members of Congress, then they will not get much done, and will be vulnerable in the next election.
However, I don't think these people will moderate their respective ideologies. Most will stay faithful to the principles they ran on the first time they are elected. Operationally, however, they will moderate in order to get bills passed that help their districts, respectively.
Then, they will understand men like Sen. McCain and Sen. Lugar. They are excellent Senators, but are willing to work with Senators who do not share their ideology.
It is easy to refuse to compromise when one is safe and has little power.
- Dr Rob