Regarding new directions, I recommend to you David Neiwert, who remembers that the American progressive movement started both inside and outside the cities.
But we have terminology issues here. At present, progressive is used as a substitute for liberal. I’m not entirely sure that’s accurate, considering that Teddy Roosevelt wound up a progressive in the end. My personal current bet is that within ten years we’ll have a moderate party and a conservative party. I hedge this by saying that I don’t think civil liberties are a liberal or a conservative issue — see also William Weld and (odd fellow traveller, here) Bob Barr. I think there’s a small chance that neither of these parties will be the Democratic Party. It’s possible that one of them will be progressive.
Mostly, though, I’m recommending David’s post because it’s nice to have a sense of history.