I think this whole thing is a joke. I'm an independent, but conservative-leaning, and I think both sides are screwing this shit up. The Republicans need to stop making this a big power-show, and maybe concede a little. I agree wholeheartedly that their original budget plan wasn't too drastic at all and basically a step in the right direction, but they didn't need to make it a virtuous struggle. The Democrats need to concede as well and stop being so spend-oriented. They already achieved their goals of the past two years and we have the deficits to prove it, so they could just as well have allowed for more of a balance.
In the end though, it's whoever gets the media fair winds to paint the hero, and the people are going to vote accordingly, very soon in fact. 2012 isn't too far after all.