Well, the Democrats and Republicans managed to play chicken with 800,000 people's jobs until an hour and a half before the deadline. They signed a stop-gap measure that would allow the government to remain open until they could vote on the larger bill early next week. At the end of the day, they agreed to cut funding by about $38 billion dollars which is closer to what the Republicans wanted and meant the Democrats had to give a little. And the Republicans agreed to drop the riders that would have eliminated funding to Planned Parenthood and EPA regulations for air and water. Federal funds to PP don't even fund abortions, just the other services they offer that is important for women's health, but I think it was the Republican's poster child for their anti-abortion campaign, because most people know about the organization. But they did get Congress to agree to vote on the PP and health care law repeal separately next week.
I think Obama put it best when he said, to paraphrase, that these issues need to be discussed, but not as part of the budget.
So the two sides compromised. Each side gave a little. But playing chicken until the last minute was so not necessary.