CNN's Dana Bash reports on claims Tea Party groups were targeted by the IRS. Jeffrey Toobin advises judgment should be reserved until more facts surface.
CNN's Gary Tuchman reports on the possible future of the tea party following the 2012 elections.
Anderson Cooper talks with Ari Fleischer and Van Jones about the tea party losses this election and what it means for both the Republicans and Democrats.
Fleischer says he likes the economic conservatism of the tea party, but they have had unqualified candidates in the past and need better messengers for their platform.
Jones believes people should regard the tea party with a certain amount of respect for how they've mobilized and garnered support, but they are not appealing broadly. He argues their tone has been "very offensive" to people of color and to women.
Editor's note: Mark Meckler of the Tea Party Patriots weighs in on the potential consequences of not raising the debt ceiling.
Related: McConnell, Reid tweaking debt limit fallback plan to boost its chances
After being left for dead in the wake of the 2008 election, Republicans staged a stunning comeback over the past year.
Winning back the House and gaining a significant number of seats in the Senate in November gives them another stab at governing. The energized GOP, added to Americans' discontent with the way the country is headed, played a large factor in the midterm election wins.
In January, Republicans will control the agenda in the House and the future of bills in the Senate.
It didn't hurt that they were able to win over an influential voting bloc - the independents who make or break elections - in rolling up impressive wins in November.
Any analyst will tell you that offense is key to winning a game, and that's what Republicans went for. They shined a spotlight on Democratic policies and were able to convince American voters that change was needed.
Mix in a bad economy and record high unemployment, a rough period during which they weren't the ones at the helm, and you have a recipe for success.
10 things Republicans must do in 10 weeks
According to midterm exit polls, 88 percent of voters found economic conditions to be not good or poor, and 86 percent said they were very worried or somewhat worried about the economy.
Republican wins, some say, came from a perception of the party as being a unified force, all on the same legislative page.
Editor's note: Who and what makes up the Tea Party movement? Don't miss CNN's unprecedented documentary "Boiling Point: Inside the Tea Party," Saturday and Sunday night at 8 ET on CNN.
(CNN) - In a few days, Americans could carve out a monument to the Tea Party's power - or etch out the movement's political tombstone.
The outcome of the midterm elections will either validate the Tea Party as a national force or cause both Democrats and Republicans to second-guess the movement's impact. But dead or alive after Election Day, the Tea Party has earned a place in history.
The movement was born of frustration and anger at the political establishment and steeped in economic anxiety. It now bubbles with the hope of electoral success in the midterm elections.
But how did it get here?
The tea party movement has been called a lot of things - from racist to the voice of the people. One tea party group is on a mission to change how the movement is perceived, especially when it comes to race relations.
Lloyd Marcus, a spokesman for the Tea Party Express, is hosting a National Black Conservative press conference in Washington on Wednesday. The event at the National Press Club is featuring more than a dozen black conservative speakers, including former diplomat and presidential candidate Alan Keyes.
The goal, Marcus said in a statement, is to fight back against "bogus, false and malicious charges" and the NAACP's resolution calling on tea party leaders to crack down on racist elements in the movement.
"As a black singer/songwriter performing my 'America Tea Party Anthem' and traveling with Tea Party Express, I have attended over 200 tea parties across the U.S. The attendees are not racists," Marcus said. "They are decent hard-working Americans who love their country. Tea party patriots oppose President Obama's policies, not his skin color."
While an ugly split within the Tea Party might leave a bruise, it won't be fatal to the movement, a political expert says.
Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams made a bad situation worse last week when he blogged what he said was intended to be a satirical letter from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous to Abraham Lincoln after the NAACP had called for the Tea Party to repudiate racist elements in the movement.
By the end of the weekend, the Tea Party Express was cut loose from an organization that claims to represent the entire movement while the Williams group stood by its man.
CNN Senior Political Contributor
The governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, is announcing today that he will not run as a Republican for the open U.S. Senate race, but will seek that office as an independent.
After months of campaigning for the Republican nomination he has decided there is no way he can win the August 24 Republican primary and would lose big time to his more conservative challenger.
This is a big story and has ramifications beyond the sunshine state. Crist was a rising star in the Republican Party and viewed himself as a future candidate for president. He may be the first moderate casualty of the Tea Party movement but certainly not the last.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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