I have to agree with Hedges. The journalistic left is stronger than the academic left, but both are weak in comparison to the right wing movements. I'm sure the reasons why this is the case are complex, but I think the collapse of labor and the upward aspirations and intellectual narcissism of the academic left have all played roles. Here is what Hedges says:
Hedges: "The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for “moderation.” And while we waste our time talking nonsense, the engines of corporate power—masked, ruthless and unexamined—happily devour the state...."