Battle lines have begun to form around the fiscal cliff. They will, of course, shift and waver in coming weeks. That is the nature of negotiations. In the process, financial markets will alternately suffer bouts of fear and relief. In all likelihood, the give-and-take will go on until the last possible minute. That, too, is the nature of such negotiations. But for all the doubts that will occur in the interim, it’s likely that in the end, the talks and maneuvers will keep the nation from going off the cliff. The exact nature of coming compromises remains vague, but the positioning to date gives at least a hint.