The Democrats are completely at fault over the failure of the negotiations in Washington to avoid the fiscal cliff! To avoid the fiscal cliff America needed a big deficit cutting deal, a three trillion dollar over ten year deal, the Republicans showed up to do their part but the Democrats didn't! The Democrats moved the goal line for such a deal from where it stood prior to the election, in the current negotiations they were no longer prepared to make federal spending cuts that would significantly touch non-wealthy Americans, yet they are adamant the Republicans provide the revenue raising through taxes portion. The Republicans were fooled with such deals in the 1980's and in the 1990's when the promised cuts in federal spending never materialized and absolutely rightly aren't going to be fooled again. The Democrats have definitely changed their position on this grand bargain deal issue since they did so well in the November elections they act like the American people gave them a license to increase taxes on the wealthy and the American people don't care about anything else like borrowing a trillion dollars a year to maintain the current spending level! If the Republicans were committed to coming up with the tax revenue they are prepared to now back in the summer of 2011 when the super contentious conflict over raising the national debt ceiling ensued or when the Super-Committee was in operation that came out of the August 2011 debt ceiling lifting legislation, America would have seen a grand bargain deal - the Democrats are the logjam here. Back then the Democrats were open to a Simpson-Bowles Big Deficit Cutting deal now they aren't! That's the problem, they aren't serving the American people with this position they aren't even long-term serving their own constituents with this position because the federal spending has to be cut it is unaffordable why not do it now and satisfy the world's desire that America get its economic house in order; it is really confusing why are the Democrats acting so crazy here even many individual Democrats have admitted that the cost trajectory of America's entitlement programs are unsustainable, why do the Democrats persist in this craziness that we can't really touch these programs now? The American media is kind of pathetic because as America moves closer to January 1 2013 when American families face a Tsunami of higher taxes because of the failure of the fiscal cliff negotiations the American media currently focuses on such petty things. You hear time and again in the media these stories about Speaker of the House John Boehner how he can't control his caucus, is he up to the task of Speaker will or should he be replaced, it's like your watching the unfolding of a professional sports season and the media is talking about a starting quarterback and will he hold on to his job? The appropriate assessment is that Speaker Boehner and his leadership team have done an outstanding job in these fiscal cliff negotiations; they have been willing to forgo a good deal and accept a bad deal to avoid the country going over the cliff and hundreds of thousands of Americans losing their job as a result, a good deal would be a three trillion dollar deficit deal with a two to one dollar ratio of spending cuts to revenue raising Boehner and his team has been wiling to compromise to a two trillion dollar deal with a one to one dollar ratio instead. The only deal the Democrats offer is a sucker deal with raising revenue now and cutting spending to be addressed later, it should be a surprise to no one that the Republicans don't accept such a deal. What gets many Americans' goat about the American media's behavior these days is the media wants to rake John Boehner through the coals because he can't even get enough votes from his own caucus to get his plan "B" (on the fiscal cliff negotiations) legislation through the House; this criticism is so unfair because clearly the make-up of his caucus is that he has many members that are extremists they have a neurotic aversion to raising taxes and a fanaticism about cutting federal spending these people aren't reasonable you can't deal with them they don't understand practicality they don't understand that sometimes elected officials have to compromise for practical reasons for the well being of the country's economy. No human being alive today put in the Speaker's job could get the Republican House members to pass a Plan B that could save the country from the fiscal cliff problem and have a realistically possible chance of becoming law. The media shouldn't be castigating the Republican leadership for not being able to get this plan "B" legislation through the House they should be castigating House Democrat members for not helping the Republican leadership pass this "last reasonable lifeline for avoiding the fiscal cliff" legislation for America. Not one Democrat house member offered to vote for this plan "B" legislation, the American people get it the Democrats were trying to block the Republicans here from getting another option besides the current negotiations with the White House option their thinking is if there is no plan B option available there is more pressure on the Republican leadership to agree to the White House deal the only option available because the Republican don't want to face the wrath of the American people when the country goes over the fiscal cliff because the media has hyped up everybody to think that if the county goes off the fiscal cliff the American people will blame the Republicans for not simply extending the bush tax cuts for the middle class. The American people are smart enough to see that the country has to for its well-being dramatically cut federal spending and if it isn't part of big revenue raising deal it won't for a long-time if ever get done and reversing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy is the only revenue raising option Republican will ever sign off on! The thing that should really bother the American people about elected House Democrats behavior here is how cavalier how willing they are to gamble with ordinary American families welfare here, it is disgraceful rank and file Democrats behavior here does America have any stand-up any first rate human beings in the Democrat House caucus? Not only did these House Democrats throw away a life-line for the American people with their behavior this past Thursday on the plan-B legislation but they conspired with Democrat leadership to stick it to the Republicans in the fiscal cliff negotiations with the offering of only a bad deal. Many of these rank and file Democrats know that the White House is offering the Republicans a lousy deal in the negotiations many of these House members have sat on groups trying to work out a grand bargain deal they know what a fair deal is; if only like forty of these Democrat men and women in the House would have supported passage of plan B Speaker Boehner would have had valuable leverage to get a better deal that would have provided meaningful help with America's deficit problem for President Obama would be faced with rejecting the plan B solution which the vast majority of Americans would accept as an acceptable solution to the fiscal cliff problems. I don't know the pressure exerted on many of these rank and file House Democrats to not do the right thing to not follow their conscience in failing to offer to vote for plan B but what I do know is that the American people would like whatever caused that pressure to be fixed! Part of the pressure probably results from caucus leadership being able to remove rank and file leaders from the committees they sit on and from committee leadership roles. With the next Congress being sworn in in January rank and file House members should come up with rules and procedure to take this power away from caucus leadership. One suggestion is make the appointment and removal of members for committees and leadership position subject to caucus membership votes and have the votes done on secret ballot. It is very valuable for the welfare and well-being of a democracy and especially for American democracy individual elected members of Congress being able to vote their conscience. This past year America lost former Senator Arlen Specter and is losing Senator Olympia Snowe with her decision not to run for re-election, two extraordinary members of Congress, they did it right they stood up individually and negotiated with opposing party leaders and at crucial times voted against their party leadership with the "political costs be damned" attitude; for the welfare of the nation I hope America hasn't seen the last of such elected officials. I fear unless America sees a significant number of elected officials in Washington gain such character the American people won't see much significant legislation pass over the next four years!