At 4:27 p.m. today, Rep. Michele Bachmann penned a vaguely-worded blog post that's giving some hope that Washington's 2011 budget battle is over. The nearly 400-word post suggests that the current impasse between Republicans and Democrats is a farce and Congressional leaders should really be fighting over "trillions, not billions" of dollars in cuts. The takeaway is that she's telling the Tea Party that this battle isn't worth fighting, and giving her blessing for GOP leaders to cut a deal and gear up for a bigger fight later on. (Like the debt ceiling, which freshman Senator Mark Rubio has already pledged to vote against.)
Coming from Bachmann, that means a lot. She's one of the most prominent Tea Partiers and has been vocal about refusing to compromise with Democrats. If she's in, it gives cover to swarms of other Republicans on the fence about being perceived as capitulators. "If she's willing to compromise isn't this done?" ABC News political director Amy Walter tweets. "This may be one of the most significant signs so far that there really will be a deal," writes Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. David Frum and Slate's David Weigel also say she's thrown in the towel.
If those commentators are right, and Bachmann is ready to cut a deal, than a compromise seems well in the works. But just a parting tip for the road. Next time you make a public statement as important as your vote on shutting down the government of the United State of America, be more clear. Here's the crucial two paragraphs people are citing as evidence of her decision to compromise:
I made a commitment to vote “no” on any Continuing Resolution that does not defund ObamaCare. That pledge to the American people remains unchanged. I believe that’s a battle we cannot walk away from. But, it’s not been an option in the recent government funding bills that House leaders have put up for a vote.
I am ready for a big fight, the kind that will change the arc of history. And, I’m hoping that when it comes to issues like the debt ceiling, ObamaCare, and the 2012 budget, House Republicans will take the lead, draw a line in the sand and not back down from the fight.