Have a look at what liberal Rep. Peter DeFazio's saying about the tax deal:
Assume that DeFazio’s being straight with us. Would someone who really has Obama’s best interests at heart disclose the desperate-sounding pitch that the president’s allegedly making privately to the House Democratic caucus? No wonder the White House cut House Democrats out of the tax-deal negotiations.
I’m not the guy to tell you whether Obama’s political viability really turns on the swift enactment of the tax deal. But I suspect that his prospects for a second term will turn on his being able to make people like DeFazio pay a political price for saying things like this.