During Obama's first term, he's sucked on the straw of cutting the deficit, while ignoring Democratic economics. The bully pulpit for progressive economics wasn't used until re-election season, when he took to the stage at Osawatamie, Kan., channeling the Occupy Wall Street message while launching his 2012 campaign.
There's the latest action on the Keystone XL Pipeline, at least a short-term win, but it's not like he came out with gusto against it. Obama said no for now then blamed the Republicans for not giving him enough time to consider the environmental impact. Activists from the grass roots to Robert Redford applauded. We don't even know if it's a definite decision.
The Democratic base has a passive-aggressive relationship with Obama that resembles a dysfunctional love affair. He has all the power and the base has absolutely none, unless you count the gay and lesbian contingent which was as good a model as the Tea Party on how to get it done. It's not that progressives couldn't have power; it's that they refuse to wield any.
So they cannot pressure Obama at election time because he knows his Democratic base will be there. After all, they're not the Tea Party. It doesn't matter if they're unhappy, all that matters is he's got their vote and he knows it.