The most important distinction, I think, is pretty simple. Unlike the Federalists we're not conservatives of any stripe, but unlike Labor we are not nor do we claim to be a socialist party. Those distinctions are the reason we exist.
Sotamayor and Kagan have been less crazy than I expected, though I expected at least 1 liberal justice to cross the line on Citizens United. Instead, they voted to preserve the monopoly of media corporations (like FoxNews) in the political process.