Ed Kilgore has a timely reminder that no president has been able to get major legislation passed without being a "sellout" to his base. Not even the famously bossy Lyndon Johnson:
...the myth of LBJ as the driven president demanding and securing progressive legislation against the grain of party, congressional prerogatives, and even public opinion, is an exaggeration, to put it mildly. LBJ showed great courage and resolution on civil rights, but he was riding almost a century of momentum, and he certainly didn't reject bipartisanship in his effort to get the job done. The landmark health care initiatives of Medicare and Medicaid were "betrayals" of the long-established progressive goal of national health insurance--certainly far more so than, say, the substitution of a health care cooperatives for a "public option" in a system of universal health coverage.