This has been taped to my monitor for the last few months. I forget who said it, but it's a clipping from an article in the Chicago Reader
"You might as well steal a page from the right. They don't compromise on their goals before they submit their plans. They aggressively push for what they want. By doing so they push the center in their direction. If you lose, you lose. At least you fought for what you believed in."
This doesn't entirely map to my thinking: I believe Democrats need to be pragmatic as they approach the '06 and '08 elections with a plan to win, not simply to change the center of political gravity. Results matter, and we can hardly afford to lose more ground. But this quote gets to a lot of what's wrong with the way Democrats too often operate.