What the President is doing is handing the Rethuglicans their collective fat ass one more time.
What the President really wants in the long run, and this is a man who thinks long term, is to be the Democratic version of Reagan, i.e. reversing the flow of recent electoral history and making the Democratic Party the owner of executive power for the next few decades. If that requires temporizing and compromising with a recalcitrant and and batshit-crazy House majority it will be worthwhile in the long run.
The President has already made significant advances in obtaining his goal.
Merely by being elected with a majority of the vote twice he has achieved what no other Democrat has since FDR. And in so doing has pulled back the curtain on the Republican base exposing them to be the unruly horde of bigots, cranks, and clueless shills for the rich we here on the left have always known they were. Barack Obama drives them nuts and independents see that.
By passing the PPACA, despite it's flaws, he has shown the Democratic party can produce effective wielders of executive power, an important achievement after decades of unfair Republican denigration of the "weak" Jimmy Carter. Clinton failed in this due to his personal weaknesses, and Gore through stubbornness failed to continue the progress that Clinton did make.
By ending the Iraq war, and prosecuting the one in Afghanistan while decapitating al-Qaeda, the President has snatched from the Republicans their most treasured mantle, that of CIC. Why do you think McCain looks like he has a broomstick up his keister all the time?
In the coming months the President will win back the Law-n-Order title for Dems.
If he also takes the claim of being the fiscally responsible party from the R's it's game set and match folks. The Republicans will have lost all credibility at that point and they and their ragtag army of science deniers, Bible thumping racists, haters, homophobic, misogynistic, plutocrat fluffing idiots can go a fifing down the road of historic irrelevance.
And perhaps sanity can prevail.
Speaking as a nearing retirement (57) blue collar type I'd take a hit on my SS to see that come to pass.
Do what it takes, Mr. President.