[T]here’s a growing sense among progressives that they have, as my colleague Frank Rich suggests, been punked. And that’s why the mixed signals on the public option created such an uproar.
Now, politics is the art of the possible. Mr. Obama was never going to get everything his supporters wanted.
But there’s a point at which realism shades over into weakness, and progressives increasingly feel that the administration is on the wrong side of that line. It seems as if there is nothing Republicans can do that will draw an administration rebuke: Senator Charles E. Grassley feeds the death panel smear, warning that reform will “pull the plug on grandma,” and two days later the White House declares that it’s still committed to working with him.
It’s hard to avoid the sense that Mr. Obama has wasted months trying to appease people who can’t be appeased, and who take every concession as a sign that he can be rolled.
Indeed, no sooner were there reports that the administration might accept co-ops as an alternative to the public option than G.O.P. leaders announced that co-ops, too, were unacceptable.
So progressives are now in revolt. Mr. Obama took their trust for granted, and in the process lost it. And now he needs to win it back.
You really need to read the entire piece. The criticism of Obama, and the concerns about his character and increasingly tarnished brand, are going mainstream. The administration didn’t care when the Netroots tried to warn them the past eight months, and long before that, that they were hurting the cause, and in the process, hurting their boss. And now, the cat’s out of the bag.