If President Obama's tax-cut deal goes through, liberals will have failed to get their way over the White House in yet another political plot point, and the administration will have, yet again, passed a major bill over the objections of the left-most quarter of its activist base.
Liberals have attacked the White House regularly over the past year and a half or so, and they're now railing against a deal that looks as if it's destined to reach the president's desk in a form vaguely similar to what Obama laid out a week ago.
Progressives have voiced discontent, since his election, over Obama's plans for handling detainees, his failure to close the prison at Guantanamo, his Afghanistan surge, and Congress's failure to end the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. The tax-cut deal has become the next point of contention in this storyline.
So far, clashes with the Left haven't cost Obama all that much, and liberal activists have failed to effectively cow the White House on any of these issues.
At the crescendo of Obama vs. Liberals conflict, the House Progressive Caucus promised to block health care reform--President Obama's signature policy initiative--if it didn't include a public health-insurance option, the prized, single-payer alternative that the Left had championed throughout health care's long debate.