A lot of the tea party people are caving. Some did right away. The problem is the senior establishment folks assign the committee assignments and they can totally isolate the tea party winners and basically render them powerless in addition to giving them zero campaign help and funds and even running candidates against them. I am not sure how we get around this problem.
At the congressional level, I think Newt Gingrich's precedent with the “Conservative Opportunity Society” — a group of mostly young and all relatively junior backbenchers who were regularly derided by the Republican establishment is a good first step.
And that's coming as a former Santorum supporter. I've always admired Gingrich's success in doing the unthinkable by taking over the House of Representatives and becoming speaker, even though I didn't think he was the best candidate for president. Nobody can take away from Gingrich what he did in winning the House of Representatives. Now, as the last conservative left, I have to hope he'll manage to pull things out and win the nomination.
Read this, from PBS Frontline of all places. The interview with Vin Weber is a good intro to what Gingrich did in Congress, though quite dated.