The lame duck session of Congress begins tomorrow, and the number one thing on everyone's mind is that darn fiscal cliff. With 50 days left until the end of the year, and a slam-bang combination of tax raises and horrible spending cuts, all anyone can wonder about is whether anything will solved. Our daily reading of the fiscal cliff tea leaves suggest that it just might—which is easy to say when the two sides haven't actually started talking to each other yet.
However, we did start to see more of that jockeying for position, particularly on the right, where the wisdom of not playing hardball was floated in public over the weekend. The New York Times reported on Saturday that House Speaker John Boehner held a conference call with House Republicans the day after the election to remind them that their party lost, badly, and they need to come to grips with that. The "subdued and dark" caucus members grudgingly agreed to stand by the Speaker's message of compromise, suggesting they be willing to accept a reality in which the president is in the driver's seat. That doesn't mean they have to give up everything they want, but no one is talking about an open revolt that defies the Speaker's strategy and puts a government shutdown on the table. For now, anyway.