Key background on DeFazio: He’s very much a liberal and therefore verrrry unhappy that Obama didn’t secure some precious, precious tax hikes on the rich in the debt-ceiling compromise. In other words, this is his way of scaring Obama into tacking left in the belief that even blue states might end up in play if the base gets too grumpy.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t right. New from PPP, which is also solidly left-wing:

There’s been plenty of bad news for Barack Obama this month in the form of his approval numbers, but our polling finds that his problems go deeper than that. Democratic enthusiasm about voting in next year’s election has hit a record low this month.

Only 48% of Democrats on our most recent national survey said they were ‘very excited’ about voting in 2012. On the survey before that the figure was 49%. Those last two polls are the only times all year the ‘very excited’ number has dipped below 50%…

The debt deal really does appear to have demoralized the base, and the weird thing about it is that this is one issue where if Obama had done what folks on the left wanted him to do, he also would have had the support of independents. The deal has proven to be a complete flop in swing states where we’ve polled it like Colorado, North Carolina, and Ohio. And in every single one of those states a majority of voters overall, as well as a majority of independents, think new taxes are going to be needed to solve the deficit problem.

If you’re wondering why Captain Civility spent most of his bus tour questioning the patriotism of congressional Republicans (without having the stones to name them, of course), this is why. It’s chum for liberals and left-leaning independents who might be temporarily disaffected by the debt-ceiling deal, even though he knows full well they’ll come around next year when the Democrats’ message team starts Palinizing the Republican nominee in earnest. Just one teensy question: Why should we believe that it’s the debt-ceiling bargain and not, oh, say, the rising threat of a new recession that has Democrats demoralized? Have a look at the graphs for Obama’s overall approval rating and his approval on the economy. He held on through the spring when economic indicators were “eh” but still conducive to the White House’s slow-but-steady-growth narrative. Within the last three months, as the numbers turned grim and alarms about a double dip began to sound, he’s spiked in all the wrong ways. Who can blame some liberals for suddenly feeling unenthused about voting for another four years of this? They need to pay their bills too, however evil those darned wingnuts are.

Two clips for you, one of DeFazio and the other of economist Jeffrey Sachs wondering why Obama’s golfing today when we’re now well into year three of Recovery Summer. I’ll leave you with this tantalizing tidbit from John Ellis, a.k.a. George W. Bush’s cousin: “A long-time Democratic politician told me the other day that he would not be ‘terribly’ surprised if Obama called it quits early next year. When I asked him if he really believed that, he said ‘no, not really, but you can smell it. It’s in the air around him.'” Smells like … demoralization. Click the second image to watch.