The spectacle of Democrats sniping at one another is not new, but having a TV home for it is. MSNBC — sometimes critically called the “home team” for supporters of Mr. Obama — has even hit upon the theme with a promotional tagline, “pushing back on the president,” in commercials for “Hardball,” Chris Matthews’s political hour.

“Our job is not to echo the president’s talking points,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC. “Our job is to hold whoever’s in power’s feet to the fire.”…

“I don’t have a constituency,” [Maddow] said. “I’m not trying to form a — what would it be? — a ‘9/10’ movement.”