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.