The notion that left-wing resistance to Carter (What did you have to resist?) led to today's Democrat Party is the actual stretch, and a big absurd one at that.
When Jimmy was whupped by Reagan, who then crushed Fritz, the Dem Party was in disarray for 12 years.
It's resurgence (such that it was) came through the centrist wing of the party, and Bill Clinton and the DLC....with significant help from Ross Perot.
What led to the Obama presidency was:
1) A stable of tired old retreads
2) The national spectacle of the one fresh Democrat face raving incoherently on TV
3) A succepitability to a silver tongue and a longing for an "articulate, clean, bright and good looking" African-American candidate; a "light-skinned African-American candidate with no Negro dialect," who Democrats could vote for and not be afraid if they found themselves alone with him on a dark street.
Should as I suspect and hope, Obama lose in November, the Democrat Party, absent a tea-party like movement from the Left, will not turn Left, and will not turn Right...it will turn to Business.