What they don't seem to realize is that the Tea Party would be happy to see the government in ruins.
John Boehner has simply thrown up his hands and decided that he wants to continue to be Speaker of the House more than he wants to do what's good for the country. It appears he is prepared to sit back and wait it out until the House votes to keep him in the Speaker's job. He is afraid that if he does anything at all, one faction or the other will conspire to vote him out. Shameful. But, then he has been one of the worst Speakers ever.
The national media is having a fine time, whipping up a case of mass hysteria among voters, by predicting terrible things if we go over the so-called cliff. So what, actually, will happen if there is no agreement reached? Tax rates will automatically go back to Clinton era rates. That's all. We managed back then and well manage now, if necessary.
One of the gasbags on MSNBC issued the dire warning that if we go over the fiscal cliff, recovery will occur too fast, resulting in some kind of national collapse, not unlike the bends suffered by divers when they surface too fast. Or, we'll experience the kind of brain freeze we get when we take a big bite of ice cream - Ouchouchouch! Too much, too fast. We can't handle a good economy!
I suspect that, come the first part of January, nothing much will happen. After the new Congress is sworn in, they will have a chance to fix whatever havoc is caused, if they only will. If not, the voters will have a chance to fix some Republican wagons in the next election two years hence. In the meantime, the extra revenues will certainly be welcome and will go a long way toward improving the economy.
In our government, nothing is ever done that cannot be undone. So, relax and enjoy the show.