Will the supercommittee turn out to be a useful failure?
Two days after its death, this idea is the committee's last chance to matter. There is hope that its debacle could pave the way for some deal by clarifying the issues and suggesting new areas of common ground. Maybe the supercommittee at least gave lawmakers a clearer picture of where they disagree.
Next year, Congress will come right back to the same issues that defeated the supercommittee, facing a time bomb of its own making: huge, automatic budget cuts that will be triggered in January 2013 if there is no budget deal.