I decided to take @bcox mod to the extreme so I shaved down the internal clip nubs with a Dremel, cut off the tiny claw tip, and bored out the end clip with a 7/32 bit to give my rubber a nice, cavernous space to slide in and out unhindered. My liquidator now works like a dream come true. No streaks, no nutty pressure required.
Side by side
I believe this may jive with @hbm theory that climate plays a role in the functionality of this tool. Since I got the tool my struggle seemed to get progressively worse with the end of my cool weather. I believe the increased heat and humidity were causing enough of a difference in the plastic, aluminum and rubber to render the tool unusable due to bunching unless pinning the rubber in place.
With enough material removed, the clip now functions exactly as any other dog-eared channel by allowing the rubber free passage to reset itself after compression.
Gosh I feel so validated. This is a really special day.