A small, overpriced and not-very-representative convention with most of the Tea Party groups absent isn't going to provide any kind of real or lasting leadership or influence, and the backlash against it is probably going to make future organizing and coordination more difficult as groups look on each other with even more suspicion. While this event could have been an opportunity to unify protesters, it is likely to have the exact opposite effect, and the Tea Party movement will remain a loose alliance with its members even more disaffected and disillusioned than they were before. Some will probably even become discouraged and leave the movement before the 2010 elections give them a chance to have a real influence.
Ironically, if this convention does have a unifying effect, it's more likely to come out of the hostile coverage from the left than from anything done at the convention. As sanctimonious leftists like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann mock the event and the "Teabaggers" in general, such does more to bring them together despite their differences than any misstep like this convention does to drive them apart. Even those who aren't supporting the convention are going to be offended by the mocking and derision of the left, and that will help them find common ground in common enemies and maybe the next attempt at working together will go better as a result.
So don't write the Tea Party off just because of this sad event in Tennessee. The final chapter in the story of grassroots America rising up and demanding better government has yet to be written and the real test will come at the polls this November.