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.

Thanks to the failed supercommittee, lawmakers may have a better sense of how the two sides could eventually agree.