But surely there is somebody somewhere in the Democratic party who is unhappy with the party’s standing in Congress and in the states, who is tired of being in the minority and tired of the current Democratic strategy on that front, i.e. waiting for the Republicans to screw up badly enough to get thrown out by the voters. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are not good-faith negotiating partners, but there must be some Democrat in Congress who could approach Republicans and say: “Look, we disagree about lots of things, but we all are worried about the deficit, about the burden of taxes on the middle class and the poor, and about economic growth. Here is a list of ten tradeoffs I’d be willing to support in order to get some of our priorities into the budget. Pity you guys weren’t smart enough to do the same with health care.”

Of course the Republicans can, for the moment, steamroll right over the Democrats. But the Republicans cannot steamroll over one another, and, in the long run, they cannot steamroll over the math, either. Deficits are sustainable until they aren’t, at which point you have a national fiscal crisis.