Problem is, it seems Obama wants the right to give ground on their principles right now as far as tax increases go, and then the left will agree to some vague, unspecified cuts to some entitlements at some later date. That's hardly meeting in the middle, or even negotiating transparently in good faith.
If I was selling you food, and I said you give me $100 today, and I will give you some undefined amount of food at some later date, would you go for that unless the terms were more explicit ? Of course not.
Perhaps if the Democrats had regained control of the house last month, then there might be an argument that he has the mandate of the people to push legislation thru, but since that didnt happen, he has to stop acting like it did happen.
They want the Republicans to move on tax cuts, OK fine, then specify exactly what entitlements will be cut by how much, and when, and link it with tax increases so that everyone knows what will happen, and when. Basically, guarantee that one cannot happen without the other.
Until there is more clarity on what each side is willing to do to meet in the middle, I can't see much movement.