If you can't beat 'em, demonize 'em:
The negotiations offer little evidence November's election brought the president and House Republicans closer together. If anything, the talks poisoned an already distrustful relationship.
Mr. Boehner could soon face a decision whether to call for a vote on some sort of plan that could avert the cliff's spending cuts and tax increases but might imperil his position if he had to rely on Democrats to pass it.
Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn't reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.
At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"
"You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."
Can you feel the bipartisan love -- the mutual respect and deep sense of responsibility necessary to solve this crisis? Yeah, me neither.