Have the Republicans Boxed Themselves In?

Many many many Democrats were up in arms that Obama totally mishandled the debt ceiling negotiations - at best, it seems like it was a big wash, and, at worst, he got taken to school. But what does not make any sense to me is that while the Republican won the battle (or at worst tied), the seemingly definitely lost the war. Here seems to be the only options:

  • Republicans go into the super committee and agree to taxes/rewriting tax code. Result? "Balanced" budget, Obama/Democrats win for looking responsible, Republicans all get primaried by Tea Party people who demanded no tax increases.
  • Republicans go into the super committee and agree to nothing but cuts. Triggers kick in, huge cuts in Defense and Medicaid/Medicare. Result? Obama/Democrats win by paint Republicans as anti-older Americans/poor, plus anti-defense. Republicans get to keep their primary wins, but get throttled in the general.

Far be it from me to underestimate the ability of Republicans to effectively communicate their messages, but if they lost NY 26 on the strength of a mere proposal of Rep. Paul Ryan's plan, I have no idea how they don't get killed here.