The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was an interesting project. According to Wikipedia, the report required a super-majority of 14 (out of 18) votes to be formally endorsed by the commission. It failed, 11-7. Nevertheless, the report was endorsed by 10 ex-chairs of the president's council of economic advisers from both Democratic and Republican administrations. It offered a way out, but Obama and the Democrats ignored it and the Republicans followed their lead.
Bowles-Simpson was probably the last chance for a true bipartisan solution to the deficit battle. Failure to take it seriously lead to the brink. Once there, both the establishment politicians and the Tea Party dug in. For their actions on the brink, both sides are equally culpable, but it was the establishment politicians who drove us to the brink, and for that, they should be pilloried in every public forum. Instead, the Tea Party is demonized, and all those with a stake in business as usual, all those who will deny Americans any genuine chance of hope, any real change, are piling on.