Here's the thing. Even if Congress does pass something towards resolving the fiscal cliff, Obama isn't going to sign it. One might think that would be political suicide, and there is something to that, but one must realize that Obama is a narcissist. He thinks that people will believe whatever he says. Thus if he says that the bill Congress worked on is unacceptable for reasons of A, B, and C, he expects people to go along with it. He'll say that it's irresponsible, or he couldn't in good conscience sign something that does X, or that the GOP put in Y and even if Congress can stomach it, he can't. The only thing that the GOP can hold over his head is the debt ceiling, and that isn't part of the present debate.
This is why we've seen no action in the Senate up until now. Harry Reid is perfectly happy to do what Obama wants. He's not even up for reelection after this, nor Obama! Now that Obama's got to blame the Senate in addition to the House - who have obviously at least been trying even though Obama doesn't want anyone to believe that - the Senate is "working" to pass the blame to someone else: Obama himself. They don't all plan to take the fall for Obama. Posturing, that's all.
But Obama's not going to take that for the reasons listed in the first paragraph. That's why either these talks will fizzle out once again or Obama will refuse to sign. He wants the cliff. He wants the tax money from the cliff for some new spending (not paying down the deficit). He wants to spend us into oblivion, errr, socialism. He'll ruin the economy so much that the only entity able to provide is the government.
Meanwhile, politicians and media all assume that the conservative members in Congress will go a long with a deal that allows $1 in cuts for every $41 in taxes raised, delaying the big cuts ($1.2 T) from the sequester for two months. This isn't necessarily a bad idea, provided it isn't just punted again. We need cuts. We need cuts now. We do not need Obama's new spending when our deficit and spending are already wildly out of control compared to any other president in history. Downgrades, here we come - unless we make real cuts.
Come on, Obama, prove me wrong. The ball is in your court or will be soon. Congress is trying desperately to help Americans while you mock them.