Worries about the fiscal cliff are beginning to sound like predictions from the Mayan calendar. Dave Weigel, political reporter from Slate, tries to demystify the smoke and mirrors of Washington politics.
Though John Boehner said of the fiscal cliff negotiations, "We're nowhere," Weigel says of the opaque statement: "Reading all of this is just like reading any sort of gypsy tea leaf prediction, or statement. You know, these people are not really saying what their final negotiation position is, they're saying what tarot cards they have on hand."
Weigel says that thus far, "Both Boehner and the White House have been pretty recalcitrant." But this is, perhaps, to be expected. "Not to reveal how cynical we are, but most people in Washington don't think we're going to get much of a deal until the middle of this month," he says. "Last week and this week are about posturing."
While both Boehner and the White House test the waters, Weigel says that it's possible that the Republicans will decide to save face in this deal, and try to make up for some of the faith lost in the debt ceiling debacle. According to public opinion of Congress these days, "If there is a failure to make a deal, it's the Republicans fault."