Jonathan Chait explains why the Super Committee actually succeeded—as a way of distracting the Tea Party:
The whole plan was to start talking about something other than the debt ceiling, in hopes that the tea party would find some different shiny object to pick up and try to smash with a rock. And it worked!
Now, it's true that the committee failed to get a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit. But that was never going to happen. I'll explain that part later today. The real goal of the supercommittee was to keep partisan deadlock from wreaking economic havoc.