The great fear for many-a-tea-partier has been that after putting trust in Republicans as they promised, "We know we screwed up last time, but we'll remain true to our convictions this time," they would go wobbly.
No doubt that it could still happen - particularly after facing months of withering assault from the mainstream media as they attempt to reverse the Obama damage. But at least at this point, I'm heartened.
Why? Take Jim DeMint:
"We can't have 500 congressmen and senators who think it's their job to bring home the bacon - and that's what's going to change," South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint told CBS' "The Early Show. "One of the first thing we'll do in the House and Senate is ban earmarks as Republicans - that'll get our eyes back on fixing our tax code, fixing social security and Medicare, getting America back to work."
DeMint called earmarks "that parochial interest I think gets that the focus of interest off national interests onto paving local parking lots." He said in an editorial Tuesday that the dozens of GOP congressional newcomers "can't be bribed if they're not for sale."
And don't forget John Boehner:
Representative John Boehner, expected to be named the next speaker of the House of Representatives, vowed on Wednesday to repeal health care reforms pushed into law by the Obama administration.
"I believe that the healthcare bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best healthcare system in the world, and bankrupt our country," Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told a news conference. "That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.
The words are right...the backbone appears to be there. So far, so good.