Oh, the 112th Congress. It's a special kind of inept -- not so much lazy or unwilling, just torn. On the cusp of every important decision, its inner conflicts make it scream "No! We can't!" -- and the blunders flow freely from there. If the 113th Congress was a Shakespeare character, it would be Hamlet. Perhaps, on one of their April night-trips to the White House, where they negotiated around a probable government shutdown, John Boehner and Harry Reid saw the ghosts of Reagan and FDR, and were spooked.

The deficit supercommittee's failure last week was just the latest in the string of failures that have come to define this Congress, epitomizing the partisan rancor that, the seasoned pundits agree, has been unprecedented. Let's take a look at those failures in turn: