I’ve said many times that it’s impossible to expect progressive members of Congress to hold together if they don’t have the backing of their natural fiscal constituencies — the liberal interest groups and the unions. Without that support, they’re left to raise money from PACS and other corporate sources to sufficiently fund their campaigns. That’s why they take turns championing progressive bills that ultimately fail so they can pretend they do something, and then voting for bad bills that ultimately pass so someone else can be the failed hero. When Tammy Baldwin votes for one PhRMA-friendly bill after another, progressives can say “hey, but she’s so good on LGBT issues!” Which never actually pass either, but the kabuki keeps activists sufficiently docile and donating to large organizations who fundraise off amping up outrage.
But it’s also worthy to note that it’s hard for them to withstand the assault of liberal “pundits” who sneeringly derided their efforts as naive, futile and “purist.” They should be proudly taking credit for their role in delegitimizing progressive opposition to the bill in liberal intellectual circles, much the same role that the same people played during the Iraq war.