Republicans right now are looking to break Obama on Health Care and think they can, which I believe is the principle reason that they will NOT compromise. This is not surprising on one side-since that is how politicians make their living these days-but on the other, Obama is so incredibly moderate, that they Republicans could have almost anything provided they agree to work together.
Unfortunately, Obama could either be another Carter or another Kennedy/Johnson. It is still unclear whether he will be an idealistic but ineffectual president or or one who is politically astute, has the potential to be ruthless, and has an overarching ideal for what he wants things to become. Johnson is, in many ways, my favorite president, for reasons I will explain if asked. The thing is, I still do not know what kind of president he is going to be. I really wish he would hurry up and reveal a few of his cards.
The Republicans being unable to accept compromise and require a win to work to resolve our problems will either marginalize them or destroy us. Thankfully they are not in power in any part of the government. Compromise only works when it is actually a choice between viable policies rather than the status quo and change.