There is a periodic push for a third party. Despite the fact that our election process makes a strong third party a very dangerous concept (this is how Hitler got elected), liberals especially are only eating their own when they endorse this concept.
The best and worst thing about the Democratic Party is their inability to truly unite. This is bad because it makes them look disorganized and makes fighting Republicans nearly impossible. This is good because it means they accept independent and diverse thinking. This "party of ideas" mentality is very effective for a majority party, but as the minority part, it has been unfortunate. This is especially true in attempting to counter Republicans, who unite almost without fail. Supposedly moderate Republicans usually vote the party line because to not do so means the loss of life and limb, at least in regard to power in Washington. Democrats, while not totally innocent of this practice, are much less likely to engage in it. As liberals, we can applaud this acceptance of independence, but it also keeps us weaker.
There has been a push to unite Democrats more strongly. Recently, Democratic leaders have backed off financially from candidates who don't fit the mold, they fear, for example. This ends up turning everyone off to the entire process and makes it more difficult for the "party of ideas" from having any news ones. Perhaps, it will result in delivering candidates with a higher likelihood of winning. I'm not particularly encouraged. I guess we'll see.
I have recently heard a number of campaigning and retiring Republicans talk about their love of their party. Not love of their country, not love of helping Americans, but love of the Republican Party. It's frightening that love of the Republican Party has taken on such a nationalistic fervor. How can relatively freethinking liberals ever hope to defeat such a force? At least as long as much of the American public responds mostly to sound bites. Putting forth ideas and debating their merits doesn't fit well into a sound bite. Dumbing down politics even more doesn't fit into keeping this country a leader in freedom and democracy.