After years of voters driven away by frustration, this move to the left with a deliberate effort to intimidate or expel the ideologically impure - even moderate office holders like Senator Joe Lieberman - is a high risk strategy. It risks splitting the party, driving away even more voters, and losing a lot of elections that faltering Republican incumbents are almost handing to the Democrats and ought to lose. They're gambling that those lost voters will come back if they see the party with a purpose again, but what if the new direction they've chosen for the party isn't the one these dissafected, mostly moderate voters want?
With the latest polls showing Lieberman's independent run crushing Lamont by 10 to 12 points in Connecticut, the writing may be on the wall already. While the far left celebrates and declares the party to be theirs, what power the Democrats have left may be slipping away altogether.
When faced with the demands of extremists in a fractured party, Henry Clay declared "I'd rather be right than be president," and that's the same choice Democrat leaders may be making when they rush to accept this new vision for their party. They may get a better, more righteous party, but like Henry Clay they may never get their hands on real power again.