One-dimensional chess — Crooked Timber
The big issue to be decided by the lame-duck Congress is whether to extend Bush’s tax cuts for the very rich. This is a one-dimensional chess game, with the obvious zero-sum property that if the tax go through, the Republicans win and (at least in standard political terms) the Democrats lose by an equal amount.
There seems to be a near-universal consensus that
(i) The game is a forced win for the Dems (pass a bill extending the cuts for everyone but the rich and dare the Repugs to oppose it)
(ii) The Dems opening move will be to resign
This analysis certainly gives support to the idea of unobserved dimensions, presumably monetary
fn1. The option of not extending them for the well-off, and doing something serious about the deficit without too much impact on demand is way outside the Overton window.