Did the president have any alternative this time around? Yes.
First of all, he could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn’t, he replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly. Great call.
I reckon this whole business of ”trusting your opponent to do the reasonable/honorable/logical thing” is going to work out about as well for all of us as it does for Ned and the Seven Kingdoms (although hopefully we don’t have full-scale internecine warfare to look forward to, at least).