Perhaps elected Democrats will find their substantive equilibrium and consensus without rancor. Perhaps they will land on the center-left rather than the far-left, as some establishment Democrats believe, though that center-left position will be more liberal by a considerable margin than what it meant the last time they won the White House.
Whether that consensus finds popularity and enthusiasm among the progressive grass-roots is part of the testing process that is coming. If the past few years have shown anything, it is that politics today is played both within party organizations and outside of it. Many grass-roots progressives who are not fully comfortable exercising their political instincts inside the party will be looking to see where the newly empowered congressional Democrats and the presidential hopefuls come down.
Another part, and just as important, is how to deal with President Trump, rhetorically and stylistically, at a time when presidential politics in particular is about personality, celebrity and other intangibles.
Do Democrats want a fighter, who will take on the president as directly as he has taken on all of his opponents and critics? Do they want a guerrilla warrior who can get under the president’s skin without engaging in a constant Twitter war with Trump? Or do they want a conciliator, who lets Trump be Trump and seeks an aspirational and affirmative message, at the risk of being pummeled by a president who has shown the ability to diminish every rival who has come at him?