The fascinating thing about the upcoming Obama tax hikes - and I imagine that the irony that if the Democrats had just made Bush's tax cuts permanent in the first [place] then they wouldn't be in this mess right now hasn't been lost on the Democratic leadership* - is that they're hardly inevitable. The current ratio is 255/180 Democrat/Republican in the House; 58/41 (Kirk needs to be seated, still) in the Senate. The Democrats can easily pass a bill that will ensure that people's taxes will not automatically rise in January; and they can pass it whenever they like.
And, really, the Democrats know this. They're just being petulant about the fact that the Republican party is disinterested in indulging the Democrats' desire to not face the consequences of their party's actions earlier in the decade. Because this is what happens when you adopt a strategy of 'kick the can down the road:' eventually, you meet up with the can again.
And sometimes people won't let you have another kick.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*At least, it hasn't been lost on those parts of the Democratic leadership who are right now looking for gainful employment in the private sector. Which, entertainingly enough, is the portion of the Democratic leadership that was most ideologically comfortable with making the original tax cuts permanent, but suborned those impulses in order to fall in line behind progressives. Karma is a marvelous thing.