The situation is ready to explode. What the late Paul Wellstone called the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" is growing feisty. And progressives are increasingly in a position to flex their muscles thanks to a convergence of factors: the rise of Internet fundraising, the ascendancy of blog and vlog (video blog) media and the crushing economic forces that are radicalizing previously apolitical middle-class constituencies. These developments have exposed the Democratic establishment to the same kind of pressure that conservative grassroots activists have exerted on the Republican Party to great electoral success.
If they win
When the hangover from election night clears, a Democratic-controlled Congress will face a giant faultline between its senior members and its rank-and-file. The chairmen of key committees are among the most progressive lawmakers in Congress. Further, these are senior legislators who have been waiting for a chance at the majority for years--not rookies who will take up their gavels with no ideas about what they want to do. And they will be bolstered by the emerging progressive technological and grassroots infrastructure that provided the keys to mid-term victory.
If they lose
If circular firing squad competitions were an Olympic sport, Democrats' typical post-election behavior would make them gold medal contenders. This is a party that has a lot of practice blaming each other--and in particular, a lot of experience watching the conservative, Big Money wing of the party dishonestly stereotype progressives as the reason for electoral defeat.
It goes without saying that a Democratic victory in 2006 would be much better for progressives and the country as a whole. The fights and problems that will come with a win are the enviable troubles of political riches, rather than political poverty. But progressives must not be tricked by the usual Democratic Party propaganda that promises a utopia after the election. No matter what the outcome on November 7, a new fight begins on November 8.
Let's just win this fight against the Repugs for now. Once we get those bastards out of power, I hope the Dems can hold the internal mayhem down to a dull roar and actually get something done, like impeaching Bush and Cheney and throwing the current leadership of the DNC out.
I consider the DNC, the way it stands, to be a disruptive money-driven force, external and resistant to progressive politics. The 'Republican wing' of the Democratic Party if you will.