Elections and Third Parties
Here's some links of interest.
Sadly prophetic: Green Party - Dem nightmare.
Two pieces which discuss "fusion voting":
Brett Bursey: Is South Carolina ready for a progressive third-party?
TomPaine.com: 2002 Results Underscore Need For Major Election Reforms.
If Democrats want to stop losing elections, I think they need to enact fusion, approval, or instant runoff voting in as many places as possible. Major parties have traditionally opposed these much-needed reforms, but in Minnesota the DFL is being hurt, bad, by centrist and progressive third parties. Maybe they will consider reforms. More info about alternative voting systems at the Center for Voting and Democracy.
And as for growing a spine, Joseph Duemer proposes a lexicon for Democrats: "...Policy of endless war, Where is Bin Ladin? How come the good guys in Afghanistan don't control much more than Kabul? Warlords. A woman's right to choose. The discredited War on Drugs."