Most young modern liberals deny that the direction of the Democratic Party is influenced by socialism because they think of socialism in terms of old-fashioned ideas that are now replaced by an enlightened pragmatism, but they carry on the structural construction, as they are told must happen, that allows modern socialism to advance. Socialist intellectuals understand the slow progress and they've never thought socialism would come about overnight. Young idealists on the Left weren't properly educated, and they never learned where to look to understand the heritage of their ideas. There's nothing new under the sun, not even in a tent in a park near Wall Street.
Some on the Left call themselves progressive but mainly because it's hard to be against progress. Howard Stern recently interviewed NY liberals/progressives/Obama-supporters on the sidewalks, and while Stern did it for the entertainment value, he chose his interviewees at random. The answers they gave to Stern's questions suggest that America has no shortage of useful idiots on the Left. It's a shame our educational system didn't teach the raw knowledge of the socialist movement/influence in America so that its modern adherents could at least make a semi-reasonable argument, or, at least know they are adherents.
Intellectuals who've studied the development of socialism over the last two centuries understand that in history's time this is a twinkle. The structure on which to hang socialist principles had to be built, and now it's almost complete. The Left wants power for four more years, and while the large majority simply want a strong, interventionist government to help them fight against the perceived disadvantages they've been taught they face, the knowledgeable few understand that four more years will complete the structure and destroy any remnants of free market principles or attempts to limit power.
The knowledgeable Left, the modern American socialists, understand that collectivism has finally reached the point of overwhelming individualism and establishing the society that so many have dreamed of for so long. The subjects of gender, race, culture and environment are at last primary, with the structure in place for regulatory finish work. Those who are campaigning for Obama and Democrats in Congress, who have no understanding of the consequences, believe that their group, whichever it may be, will be favored, that government will now have the power to accomplish what Obama failed to accomplish against recalcitrant Republicans. These useful idiots have no idea how disappointed they'll be when power is consolidated, and they are left behind as the State machine impersonally rolls over them on its way to sucking the required resources from the economy to pay for the socialist power-structure. The US standard of living will have to drop for the majority, and the phase will begin in which half the nation lives on handouts as the other half grinds away wondering how all this happened. But the worried non-individual will move as the leaders of the group tell it to move, holding out one more carrot, one more chance for the miracle to happen, hope and change.