Obama’s re-election meant that they couldn’t survive any longer. Public policy is not eternal; it can always be changed. Bill Clinton’s tax increases of 1993 lasted only eight years. George W. Bush’s tax cuts have lasted longer.

Now the question of whether we avoid the fiscal cliff — tax rate increases, sequestration, the full imposition of the Alternative Minimum Tax — is up to the Democrats. Specifically, the Senate Democrats…

But people are not always good predictors of their future opinions. The failure of the grand bargain negotiations in summer 2011 was followed by downturns in opinion toward both Obama and Republicans.

Senate Democrats have been avoiding tough votes on fiscal issues for some time. They haven’t passed a budget resolution for three years though the budget act requires them to do so.