Democratic party in a death spiral?

In a fascinating post, J. Peter Mulhern of The American Thinker wonders what might happen if the Democrats fail to take over either the House of Representatives or the Senate:

Predicting what will happen if the Democrats win control in one or both houses of Congress next month is a burgeoning cottage industry. It is, however, both more interesting and probably more useful to consider what will happen if they don’t.

Some Democrats will claim that the party must take the war more seriously and appear more moderate to win. Others will argue that the party must be true to its ideological roots on the far left so that it may win a majority by the power of passion and persuasion. Neither side of this debate will grasp the true nature of the Democrat dilemma.
The would-be moderates don’t understand that Democrats can’t win without the left. The ideological purists don’t understand that Democrats can’t win with it.

Professional Democrats have tried for years to have their cake and eat it too. They have tried to keep the loyalty of the left without getting identified with it. That worked during the ersatz peace of the Clinton years when they were still winning, at least sometimes.
The pressure of war and defeat has made it much more difficult for Democrats to have it both ways. They have tried desperately to straddle the divide between those who want to defend America from our deadly enemies and those who don’t.

Rush Limbaugh has been making similar points all week, trying to buck up the conservative base. I’ve found my own reflexive pessimism about the electorate melting away. I really think this election’s going to go well for the vast majority of Americans who have deep reserves of common sense. As long as the mainstream media doesn’t poison the debate with their desperate left-wing bias, we should be OK come Election Day.

Of course, keeping the MSM somewhat honest is the mission of conservative radio hosts and bloggers like me. We’re up to the task.
These are the key paragraphs from Mulhern’s post (emphasis mine):

This isn’t the first time a major American political party has been closely divided over a defining issue. The Democrats’ dilemma in 2006 looks a lot like the Whigs’ dilemma in 1852. The Whigs depended on support from both slave holders and abolitionists. They tried to straddle the slavery issue but they couldn’t. Their party broke apart and disappeared.
The Democrats have much deeper roots than the Whigs, who lasted only 24 years. They are likely to linger in some form for quite some time. But one more unexpected defeat just might tear them apart and prompt a dramatic political realignment.
At some level, Democrats seem aware of this danger. They are fighting the 2006 campaign like the existential struggle which, for them, it may very well be. It smacks of desperation, to choose an example at random, when the party of pederasty attacks Republicans for failing to condemn a homosexual congressman in advance of any evidence that he did anything wrong.
The political game has never been a better spectator sport and the stakes have rarely been higher.

We’ll need one more thing to hasten this result: the Republican Party leadership needs to grow a spine right now.

Potestas Democraticorum delenda est!