Progressives get ready to push the president
They'd rather fight for Obama, but if the White House wobbles on entitlements, expect "a huge backlash"
By Alex Seitz-Wald
Fears that liberal disaffection would hurt Obama at the polls proved groundless last week when the Democratic base came out in force. But Obama’s honeymoon with the left may not last long.
The top priority for Congress as it reconvenes this week is to deal with the so-called fiscal cliff, and progressives are worried that Obama and congressional Democrats may agree to a “grand bargain” that includes cuts to social safety net programs, especially Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, or gives a tax break to the wealthy.
Progressive activists are now preparing to turn the firepower they marshaled to reelect the president against him if he looks like he’s backing down on his mandate, as they see it, to preserve the social safety net and raise taxes on the wealthy.
“Our members are really really fired up to fight alongside of him and fight Republicans who are holding the economy hostage,” Ilya Sheyman of MoveOn.org told Salon. “But at the same time, it is also true that we have a very clear bright line from our members on Social Security and Medicare. That’s the top priority for our membership and we’re staying fully mobilized.” ................(more)
2. This isn't so much holding his feet to the fire,
as it is giving him cover. He's going to have a stronger bargaining hand because he can point to us and say "That's the position I'm starting from. I'm making XYZ concessions for you, now tell me what you're willing to give up.".