Here is a partial list of bipartisan budget negotiations…. All these negotiations have one thing in common: They ultimately failed. This is the baffling context for Speaker John Boehner's interest in a conference committee (which, by the way, Republicans have been refusing on the budget for six months) or some kind of tax-reform commission. We have run this play before… again and again… using top congressional leaders and President Obama… using B-string congressional leaders and Vice President Biden… using retired politicians and wonks… non-leadership members of Congress… fast-track authority… with the threat of sequestration and with the danger of the debt-ceiling. It hasn't worked…. The failures have all been for the same reason: The two parties actually disagree….
Which isn't to say another commission can't be the way out of the current impasse. The White House's view is that they'll compromise on process but not on policy. A new commission counts as a process compromise. If that's enough for Republicans to save face, then it's a low-cost way out of this mess.