The one thing that liberal activists have certainly done with regard to health care is to center the conversation (outside of GOP parts of the world, but those parts are mostly irrelevant to the bill) on public option at the expense of anything else.
We're about 24 hours out from Reid's decision, and so far I'm not even seeing much curiosity about what else he's sending over to CBO, even from Ezra Klein and Jonathan Cohn, both of whom have championed a much more balanced approach up to this point. Same story at the NYT health care blog. Or, consider this TPM story about the House bill, which is entirely focused on the details of public option, without even a vague allusion to any other important issues at stake.
No question about it: whatever their effect on the final bill, liberals, with their single-minded focus on the public option, are driving media coverage and the overall debate. Too much for my tastes: Hey, reporters! Don't forget to find out about the rest of the bill!