I think anybody who reaches party leadership is going to be a slimy bastard. You don't get to lead a political party by sticking to strict principles.
It still boggles my mind how "not defaulting on the nation's debt" somehow became a compromise position. As odious as I found shutting down the government, it's a vastly more acceptable negotiating lever than defaulting on the debt. That's not a concession to the liberals, it's a concession to sanity.