The US government chose to default decades ago when it embarked on a monetary policy based solely on debt. All that's happening right now is arrival at that destination. I too hope for a default immediately. Sure, it would be painful for a short time, but then we can move on with a more fiscally sustainable system of government. Same goes for the various European governments.
It should also be noted that not only will it eventually default on its legal debt (i.e. the actual loans on the books) but also the welfare "obligations" that it's promised to pay in the future, that are by design off the books. Not only will the creditors be disappointed, but the people who foolishly planned their retirements around these promises.
indeed, but when elections are coming, no one wants to be the guy who caused the recession. Obama loves his job more than his country (like Sarkozy, Merkel....)