I've long believed that Democrats don't have much of a use for you after you fail them. The latest example is with 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry. Not only did he endorse Barack Obama, but he's gone after Bill Clinton for attacking Obama and abusing the truth, as he put it. Judging by CNN's message board on this subject, this has caused a firestorm within Democrat circles with a number of people wanting to dismiss Kerry's comments by saying he was a loser, so his opinion doesn't matter.
The problem Democrats face is that Kerry's opinion does matter. He is, albeit far later than some, accurately reflecting the mood of a good number of Democrats. They are tired of Bill Clinton and having to defend his dishonesty on relatively minor issues and now they're speaking out. It doesn't matter whether Kerry lost the 2004 election. His opinion is anything but irrelevant by virtue of the number of people he's echoing.
Of course, backing Obama would instantly make Kerry a target for criticism from the Clinton and Edwards camps. The Clintons would see Kerry's endorsement as a slap in the face because the Clintons believe themselves to be entitled to leadership positions and the party, at least up to now, have obliged. As far as Edwards is concerned, Kerry endorsing Obama is a slap in the face considering Edwards was Kerry's running mate in 2004. Although there was friction between the two near the end of the 2004 race, Edwards not getting Kerry's endorsement can be seen as a slight to Edwards.
As much as some grassroots Democrats have said the Democrats will cruise to victory in November, that victory may be undercut by the feuding going on within the party itself. Politics is personal, and with some of the personal slights, real and imagined, at work here, it will take a lot to put the party back together again.
Speaking as a former Democrat, I don't think it can be done because there are too many people in it for themselves. Washington, DC, is a city of agendas, political and personal, and the unscrupulous will do whatever it takes to advance those agendas, including stabbing people in the back. Although it was easy in the past to put aside past grievances, this year isn't shaping up like that for the Democrats. There have been too many personal attacks, too many times where the truth has been stretched beyond recognition, and too many unchecked egos.
And that's a recipe for defeat.