I am not a fan of Howard Fineman, but he is spot-on in noting the Tea Party Congress is in session:
The new, more Republican Congress won’t arrive in town until next month, but the Tea Party Era unofficially began on the Hill Thursday night.
Republican leaders in Congress, blindsided by grassroots fury over the tax cut deal they made with President Obama, are now scrambling to show their allegiance to the anti-federal, anti-debt movement.
The GOP brass, led by Senate party leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), did so tonight by eagerly backing the successful efforts of Tea Party favorites to block debate on a $1.1 trillion “omnibus” spending bill that would fund the entire federal government until next October -- but which contained billions of dollars in “earmarks” Republicans, including McConnell, once stoutly defended.
The omnibus bill also contained the spending priorities of the Obama administration and the soon-to-be-ended Democratic-controlled Congress.
But Reid announced Thursday night that he didn't have the votes he needed to block the maneuver or ensure debate after the reading of the bill. The reason, he said, is that nine Republicans who initially promised to support him had changed their minds.
Game, set, match Tea Party.