Rich Galen

Also in that Fox News account, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IN) "acknowledged that his party needs to 'bring entitlement reform into the conversation.'"

Durbin talked specifically about doing something about Medicare which has, he said, "only 12 years of solvency lie ahead if we do nothing."

That is significant because Durbin is the number two Democrat in the U.S. Senate behind Harry Reid.

On a midday appearance on MSNBC with former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell yesterday, anchor Alex Witt asked me if I thought the GOP was changing its position on taxes (and immigration) for political reasons.

I said if they were doing it for political reasons it might have been more useful to change their position three weeks ago when it might have done some political good.

Prior to our segment, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) complained about the "mindless cuts" that would affect the Department of Defense if the automatic spending cuts go into effect.

We didn't get to that but you know my position: The Congress voted for the "sequester" if the Super Committee couldn't come up with a package of spending reductions and revenue enhancements last year.

It failed to so exactly one year ago and so now the cuts are looming.

Smith was making it sound like this was someone else's fault. It is not. The Congress did this to itself - and to the rest of us - because they refused to agree to anything that might have become a 30 second attack ad against them in their re-election campaigns.

"The fault," as Cassius said to Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar "lies not in our stars, but in ourselves."

Good for Rep. Smith and his pals to remember that as we slide closer and closer to the Fiscal Cliff.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at