. . . Tea Party groups have said they want to focus on fiscal conservatism and not risk alienating people by talking about religion or social issues . . .
To the extent this is true, it is a fatal flaw.
Tea Parties - indeed, all proclaimed believers in small government - should be about freedom. Economic freedom. Social freedom. To only address half of that equation is problematic.
It is the equivalent of saying, "yes, you should have the freedom to spend your money any way you wish, but, no, you should not be able to conduct your private life any way you wish."
The inconsistency is obvious.