FDR famously said, "Don't tell me to do it, make me do it." (Or words to that effect.) By contrast, Obama is complaining because progressives ARE trying to make him do it. He has what every president dreams of: a mandate from the people. The electorate has spoken clearly, both by electing him by a strong majority and by making their desires known throughout the first two years of his presidency. It wasn't Republicans who stymied the health care debate; it was fellow Democrats. It wasn't Republicans who watered down Wall Street "reform;" it was Tim Geithner & Larry Summers -- people within his own administration. It's worth noting that these two guys -- Summers & Geithner -- were the ones who stymied Brooksley Born's efforts to regulate over-the-counter derivatives trading during the Clinton administration. And that, in turn, helped create the financial meltdown, yet they are STILL opposing regulation of over-the-counter derivatives trading. This is why the Democrats' approval ratings are in the toilet -- not because they're doing too much, but because they're doing too little.
In short, the president is whining because his supporters are actually paying attention for a change. Instead of complaining about progressives, he should be telling the GOP and the bluedogs, "I'm sorry, guys. It's what the people want."
Both parties are beholden to business interests, but the anti-masturbation, gun nut whackaloons that make up the Republican base are not in direct opposition to Wall Street, Big Oil, etc., whereas the book-reading, reality television non-watching, homo non-fearing citizens who comprise the Democratic base ARE in direct opposition to such interests. I suspect that privately, you would find Karl Rove & Dick Cheney mocking the evangelicals & slack-jawed yokels who comprise their base. In fact, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they did just that. Ah, yes. Here it is.
In his book, (David) Kuo wrote that White House staffers would roll their eyes at evangelicals, calling them "nuts" and "goofy."
But publicly, they embrace so-called "values voters" because it's politically expedient to do so.
The Democratic leadership, on the other hand, is OPENLY hostile to its base. Robert Gibbs, for example, was instrumental in undermining Howard Dean's candidacy, much more so than any Republican. And that was long before his recent whining about progressives.
The reason you don't see the unity among Democrats that you do among Republicans is that the neo-liberal DLC crowd is at odds with the old-school FDR Democrats.
"Good luck with the next asshole you hand the presidency to," you say? Democrats have a 20-year history of handing the presidency to assholes. One was named Clinton and one was named Obama. Oh, but they had that ever-important (D) behind their names and that makes all the difference. I guess a Democrat bombing the snot out of civilians and handing the reins of power to Wall Street is so much better than a Republican doing it.