The Repubican agenda is not to reduce spending through reasonable (or any other) compromise with Democrats; their agenda is to destroy Obama. Likely this single mindedness fueled by a catalog of resentments, including but not limited to, racism. Their destructive goal is simple, easily understood, easily followed--in short, an effective rallying point. So, when we think the old approach to government through reasonable compromise is still operative, we are delusional. No amount of give, on the part of Democrats will ever be enough and will always be rejected. Republicans will sacrifice the well being of middle and lower class Americans because they believe a failed government, at any cost, will rid the country of Obama.
The issue is not ever about what is best for us, best for the country, and to think it is is delusional. All the noise about deficit reduction, small government and protection of individual liberties is a false sales pitch aimed at energizing the dissatisfied middle Americans. It is the same stuff: abortion, gun owner rights, and welfare abuse that has always been used to trick average and poorer Americans into voting against their own interests.
That is the great achievement of modern Republicans: Manipulating working people into voting against their own interests.