Immediately following the 2004 election, I was talking to a friend who's a Democratic activist and I told him that in order for the Dems to become competitive nationally, they'd have to jettison the Kos-Moore wing of the party. My friend insisted it was impossible because the Kos-Moore wing is the Democratic party. The ascension of Howard Dean and this AARP link to Kos now suggest that my friend was correct.It's not so much that the Dean/Kos group IS the party, but they do have all the energy, and pretty soon they'll have most of the money (if they don't already).
But I'm still not buying it.
I will go one further. The radical wing of the party, are really the only ACTIVE component of the party. The rest of the party are concentrated solely on maintaining what hold they have, and obstructing Bush.
More in the extended entry...
The Radicals are actually attempting to do something (albeit something bad), and this is what captures the imagination, garners press, and draws money. Fighting a rear guard action is unglamorous, messy, and expensive, both monetarily, and more importantly politically.
Honestly, I think the party is in a death spiral at this point. They have been generally defeated, or at the very least lost ground, six elections in a row. They are desperate, and they have no real purpose but to defend "the new deal" and "the great society", 70, and 40 some years old respectively.
A party centered on nothing but holding ground will not bring in new support, and their older support is fading, or even literally dying out. They have already lost most of the blue collar vote, and would have lost the entire group were it not for the organized labor unions, who represent an ever smaller percentage of the population.
The only major organized, or semi-organized constituencies Democrats have left are blacks, teachers, government workers, and current recipients of welfare or social security.
To put it mildly this is not an election winning group.