The sheer scale of cuts Obama has offered the Republican Party in the latest round of talks on raising the US debt ceiling has shocked many Democrats. And yet, even this apparent victory for the austerity-fetishists on the political right in America wasn't enough.
The truth is, for a group increasingly dominated by the Tea Party, the Republicans would seem happy only to see the federal government dismantled altogether. They are extremist ideologues, with no grasp - or interest in - reality.
And the strain of dealing with these people is showing on the normally unflappable president, as yesterday's news conference showed: