THE LEFT WILL RISE AGAIN!….In the Washington Post today, David Von Drehle writes about the resurgence of the left in the Democratic party:

They do not call themselves “liberals” anymore; the preferred term today is “progressives.” But in other ways, they are much the same slice of the electorate that dominated the Democratic Party from 1972 to the late 1980s: antiwar, pro-environment, suspicious of corporations and supportive of federal social services.

In recent weeks, the progressive left has: lifted a one-time dark-horse presidential candidate, former Vermont governor Howard Dean, into near-front-runner status; dominated the first serious Internet “primary”; and convened the largest gathering of liberal activists in decades.

The liberal is the fastest-growing political action committee in the Democratic Party. Left-leaning labor leaders, such as Andrew L. Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, are taking a more assertive part in mapping the all-important union role in party operations.

There’s nothing really new here for blog readers, but it’s a decent summary of what’s going on and what the fight is about. And here’s the good news:

The result: Activists who are normally prone to in-fighting — “the Democratic Party is Yugoslavia,” in the words of one party veteran, recalling years of internecine squabbles — are instead trying to pool their energy to present a clear alternative to the man they despise [George Bush].

When you clear away all the underbrush, I think this is far and away the most important thing that’s happening right now. Regardless of whether a “progressive” Howard Dean or a “DLC” John Edwards wins the nomination, I think the mood of the party is to close ranks and vigorously support our candidate no matter what. That’s something we haven’t seen for a while, and it’s well past time to see it return.