There are 'liberal' economists and otherwise smart people going around saying that the Fiscal Cliff victory was really a failure because it made the Bush tax cuts permanent. Some of these people must be Koch brothers plants and the rest who fall for this 'logic' are not as smart as their media image would suggest.
To begin with you're only talking about the sliver between the 250,000 Obama campaigned on and the 400,000 number that passed. Sure these people get to keep as much as an extra $4500 a year that they should pay in taxes. Most people in that bracket are at the lower end and don't see much advantage at all. It cuts $20 billion a year from revenue, that's not really going to matter. We have bigger fish to fry.
It made the Bush tax cut permanent? They didn't amend the Constitution.
Republicans got nothing they wanted. Zip, zero, nada. Sure they had to give out some pork that amounts to a few ham sandwiches at the church picnic compared to the budget. Yes they went to some really bad people, but we got our sausage.
The really big win is that Obama looks good, the Democrats look good and the economy isn't harmed one bit. The Republicans look stupider every day in the eyes of people who were inclined to think they were the smart guys in the room.
We won this, it gives us huge momentum for the next battle. We will need that advantage to get the real reform we need and to get more Progressives elected. The 2014 campaign is only a year away.