House Democrats in particular feel betrayed. From their perspective, they took extraordinarily tough votes in 2009 and 2010 to advance the new president’s sweeping agenda and suffered accordingly in the election. Then he immediately turned around and did business with Republicans before those defeated in November had even vacated their Washington apartments…

Adding insult to injury, some Congressional Democrats suggest, the White House was not completely upfront with them about how far along negotiations were with the Republicans last Monday in the hours before the deal was announced. Democrats said they had been under the impression that the parameters were not firmly set and that they could still influence the outcome. Yet within a few hours, Mr. Obama appeared in public to lay out the framework of a done deal.

Rank-and-file Democrats now believe a set of ultimately irrelevant negotiations was taking place with a bipartisan cast of House members and senators while more important talks were going on between the White House and Senate Republicans.