The Bush tax cuts, which awarded the richest 5% of Americans with $4 trillion over their lifespan, are due to expire. Democrats want to renew the tax cuts for everyone making less than $250k a year. More than 60% of us agree that the tax cuts should not be extended for those making over $250k per year. This is both a necessary and popular move to repair the budget. Republicans unanimously demand further rewards for the very rich.
But, as in the end stages of the Third Republic, some Democrats want the Republicans to win. I wouldn't give any more than even odds that the Democrats can do the necessary and popular thing. If they don't, the government will get weaker and the party will get weaker.
Fortunately, we have no aggressor nation on the horizon, poised to strike and invade. Unfortunately, the much larger menaces of peak oil and global warming are looming over the horizon, demanding basic changes in the grandest scale of our society- changes that this government, poorly handled, may not survive.