The breathless and phony countdown to the fiscal cliff — What if they can’t agree? What if we fall off? Can America possibly survive? — is media hype, a desperate effort to drum up a drama to keep viewers and readers tuned in now that the election is over. It’s a Road Runner cartoon, Beltway-edition. And it’s going to end with a whimper like the similarly apocalyptic, now long-forgotten Y2K scare of the turn of the millennium. Everyone knows the Republicans are going to fold — the Republicans know they are going to fold — and the only question to be resolved is when and on what terms. They have zero leverage.
Frank Rich is like a stupid version of Paul Krugman. I suppose it's unlikely he'll get lost in Montana and eaten by a bear, but one can always hope. --TS