The democratic ideal of empowering the ordinary citizen cannot be achieved without addressing the problem of corporate power. A centre-ground president like Obama will never engage against powerful vested interests without there being an external pressure to do so from trade unions and progressive civil society. The left needs a Tea Party of its own.
The change can and must come from across the political spectrum. The problem of corporate ownership of the political system is a non-partisan issue, it’s not about Republicans vs. Democrats. Our political system itself is rotting and corrupt. That’s the problem
Having said that, then yes, progressives absolutely need a Tea Party of their own. One of the biggest problems that liberals and progressives have now is their bedraggled hope that Obama will somehow do the right thing if he only gets the correct facts. This is illusion. The Tea Party on the right doesn’t ask politicians if they could please do something. Instead they bring about pressure to make them do it. The left needs to do the same.