Poli-Tea details how some liberals and progressives in the Democratic Party continually go back for more abuse. This is mainly because they are unable to envision alternatives, so they resolutely fight for change within a party that systematically kicks reformists in the teeth every chance it gets.
This just happened to the Tea Party too. Most of the legislators they helped to elect are now ignoring them and the budget that just passed was no actual reduction in spending at all.
Our two party duopoly doesn’t want change.
Your analogy with the tea party is spot on. I think maybe the best, or at least most recent precedent, for the co-optation and destruction of the tea party by the GOP is the co-optation and destruction of the anti-war movement by the Democratic party.
When people ask what I think of the Tea Party I tell ’em Late to the Party. Their complaints have been my complaints since Nixon. ‘Course, as I discovered the other evening, few even know who Nixon was.