“In the short term, Republicans are blamed more than Democrats,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), the incoming chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, acknowledged. “I think in the long term, the political damage is to the president and to Democrats.”…

A number of Democrats — several of whom will face voters in 2014 — worry no one will be unscathed, including President Barack Obama. If taxes skyrocket and deep cuts take effect, Obama could preside over an eroding economy that could torpedo his second-term agenda as he tries to broaden his presidency to focus on issues like immigration reform and gun control. Voters, Democrats in the Senate fear, will take it out on them as well.

“I don’t blame people at home for wondering what in the heck is going on in the nation’s capital,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who is up for reelection in 2014. “It’s hard to explain. … I don’t think it looks good for either party.”…

“You gotta basically start over – a new Congress – and you’re going to have to have 60 votes in the Senate,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the incoming GOP whip. “I think it’s all part of a plan to ultimately go off the cliff and have a whole bunch of new revenue and make it much harder to make tax rates low through the course of the year.”