An informal report on the new party idea
Let's take a look at what's likely to happen.
1) Sanders supporters are going to try to take over the Democratic Party. As this piece points out, however, the actual effort of doing this is likely to be very tedious, expensive, and time-consuming and will meet with a ton of resistance from party officials.
2) While Sanders' onetime followers engage this decades-long process of struggle within the Democratic Party, precinct by precinct, Democrats are likely to continue to tell everyone: "look, we're likely to do about 80% of what the Republicans do -- but they're still worse." Remember, no real appeal is necessary to sway "lesser-of-two-evils" voters outside of fear of the other. Will it matter to the party leadership that their hold on Congress will continue to slip further and further, that there will be more 2010- and 2014-type election collapses in the future and that fewer and fewer people will actually show up to vote for them or for their opponents? No. Will it matter to them that they will have a steadily-shrinking pool of experienced political workers to draw upon in the future, as their party loses race after race? No. Will people desert them for the Green Party? No.
3) As the so-called "Left" in the US periodically struggles to be heard while continuing occasional struggles against co-optation and against being crushed by the party they trust with their lives, bad things will happen. Austerity planning will happen. Voter suppression efforts will be increasingly successful. Markets will crash, jobs will be lost, global warming will destroy landscapes. There will be migrations, famines, plagues. Will individual politicians stop this? No, and as Trump's preliminary cabinet choices are proving, real power will continue to be vested in an oligarchic political class with absolutely no clue as to the challenges that currently do and that will in the future face them.
4) As shown by 1) through 3) above, the primary future political scenario looks bad. It does, however, seem that a lot of hopes will be vested in 1), the effort to take over the Democratic Party. My recommendation is that the people who are trying to do this should be asked to reflect upon a back-up plan, which is to say aiming for a realignment. The Green Party, it seems, won't do -- so what's needed is a new party.
5) Now, the first people to which we should pitch this suggestion to are the activists -- though we're likely to find at this point that too many of them are still committed to the Democratic Party. Perhaps the sort of thing I have in mind could be pitched at a development seminar as one of many options, and then we could "take results" at the subsequent discussion sections. At any rate, the proposal on my new party diary was intended as a sort of Bernie Plus proposal, to get the ball rolling.
6) Ultimately, we will need a business plan for the new party. I might be able to write such a thing, though what I write is likely to be crap unless the plan is written by a committee. (Look, I have a Master's Degree in English -- why don't you all have me do the editing?) At any rate, this business plan will have to detail how the new party will avoid:
a) being a sectarian party like the Green Party -- we can't afford a party of "principles" that won't expand beyond a tiny segment of the population.
b) being a sellout party like the Democratic Party -- the new party needs to be able to assure at the end of the day that neither it nor its members can be bought.
The business plan will also have to c) detail the existing situation in a way that appeals to readers to join, d) provide an organizational plan wherein go-to people ("leadership" is such a cliche now) can be recruited, and e) suggest at least a role for horizontal organization in spelling out the needs of the people, comparable to what one can see today in the Zapatistas.
7) This plan will need to be presented to the activists at the points in time and in space when they are most likely to say "yes" -- which may perhaps mean that a preliminary educational campaign will be necessary. In line with my suggestion that this be called the Sensible Futures Party, the educational campaign might gauge the popular mood as regards what counts as a "sensible future." We need to understand the most useful aspects of the social imaginary.