If something like this doesn’t happen it’ll be because the median vote in the House is a lunatic winger.
What’s particularly exasperating about this is that we’re in a situation which the dysfunctional structure of our political system is on the POTUS’ side (assuming for the purposes of argument that what he actually wants is a deal that features at least as much revenue enhancement as budget cutting). After all the Bush II tax cuts expire if nothing happens, and if there’s one thing the US legislative process is good at producing it’s nothing. Then consider that there’s no way the money men who run the GOP would actually allow anything more than a very short term and almost completely symbolic “default” to occur, and if such a thing did occur, polling data indicates the public would blame the GOP more than the Democrats.
At some point one has to consider the radical hypothesis that these negotiations are on the level, and that Obama wants this kind of deal.
Update:. More details emerging.