Trouble in paradise

Oh my, sounds like lots of people have a real problem with Obama’s unwillingness to fight — and it’s going to cost him:

Reporting from Washington — President Obama’s advisors are confident that liberals dismayed by his agreement to extend tax breaks for the wealthy will forgive him by the time the 2012 election kicks into gear.

But the current backlash on the left may intensify the immediate challenge Democrats face in building a new campaign finance apparatus to challenge Republican-allied outside groups that flexed their muscles in this year’s midterm election.

Democratic operatives are already laying plans to set up new independent expenditure committees that can raise unlimited funds, and hope to enroll early contributors to establish a beachhead for the coming campaign. But some stalwart party donors are vowing to withhold funds because of their anger over the tax-cut deal.

“I do not plan to support Obama and his reelection effort,” said Utah-based hedge fund manager Art Lipson, who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party and its allies in recent elections. He views the tax-cut compromise as a giveaway to Republicans that will increase the deficit.

“He’s got many great qualities, but he is not a fighter,” Lipson said of the president. “I’ve met with many donors and the level of disappointment is extreme.”

Other discontented contributors are taking a wait-and-see approach.

“I would say I’m not a happy camper,” said Paul Egerman, a software entrepreneur in Boston, who said this was the first time he felt Obama reversed himself on a significant policy issue. “That troubles me. I need to be convinced he really had no alternative.”

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