Yes, the Deal is clumsy and unsatisfying, kicks the can down the road, and is an embarrassment to a supposedly functional democracy -- a "sugar-coated Satan sandwich." But it's still a Democratic win, because it leaves the probability of Republicans, suicidally, at election time, either agreeing to tax hikes (in the Joint Committee) or allowing tax hikes to happen (by letting the Joint Committee deadlock, causing all Americans' taxes to increase automatically).
That is, it's a Democratic win IF progressives can keep their sh*t together, stop the idiotic and nonproductive internecine warfare between so-called Firebaggers and Obamabots, and pull together to demand that the Joint Committee include true Democrats who'll hold firm rather than Blue Dogs and Vichies who'll surrender on the electorally all-important new revenues issue.
Here, in a highly sophisticated graphical format developed after over one minute of communications-strategy research and diligent labor, is why the Satan Sandwich contains a nummy, pro-Democrat nougat center:
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