I think the Congressional Super Committee was always intended to fail. The rules that set it up already included massive cuts to social services and defense. The president has already said he will let the Bush tax cuts run out. Together, these cuts and new taxes will take a big hunk out of the deficit soon, and will gradually bring it under control.
This strategy was how the Clinton administration worked with the Congress (both parties) to get the Reagan/Bush deficit under control. This strategy is how the Obama administration will work with the Congress (both parties) to get the Bush II deficit under control.
I believe the Republican leadership wants to work with the Democratic leadership and the president to actually govern. The Republicans are hampered by a very foolish pledge most of them made to never raise taxes, even when we need to. Since that pledge is an impossible governing standard, and most of the Republican leadership actually does want to govern, they needed an end-run like this Super Committee drama to give them political cover for actually acting responsibly.
I find it encouraging that, despite the bluster, our government leaders are, in fact, finding ways to act responsibly.