“Reagan proved deficits don't matter.” — Dick Cheney
Perhaps the Tea Party achieved that: the deficit and the national debt are now forefront before the Congress and the people. I think Obama has already signaled that deficits were an issue for him from the early days of his administration but even the Republicans are now focused like a laser beam on the issue where once their mantra was spoken by Vice President Cheney.
Where the Tea Party fails in my opinion is their one size fits all solutions: cut, cut, cut.
And, your point is well taken, Obama ignored the recommendations of his own debt commission. I think he finally stopped negotiating with himself. Both sides of this debate must meet and hammer out the agreements. I just don't think the House leadership has the backing they need from their own membership to compromise on anything these days.
To solve America's long term budget issues, there must be spending cuts in the major, sacrosanct expenditure areas but likewise there will be significant tax increases in things like the mortgage interest deduction. Finding the tolerance point both in program reductions and tax increases is a political compromise both sides will have to endorse for our nation to “win” this battle.