I am deeply, profoundly disappointed. If I have time over the next few days, I'll elaborate. In the meantime, I offer Mark Morford from SF Gate:
It simply boggles the mind: we've already had four years of some of the most appalling and abusive foreign and domestic policy in American history, some of the most well-documented atrocities ever wrought on the American populace and it's all combined with the biggest and most violently botched and grossly mismanaged war since Vietnam, and much of the nation still insists in living in a giant vat of utter blind faith, still insists on believing the man in the White House couldn't possibly be treating them like a dog treats a fire hydrant.
Inexplicable? Not really. People want to believe. They want to trust their leaders, even against all screaming, neon-lit evidence and stack upon stack of flagrant, impeachment-grade lie. They simply cannot allow that Dubya might really be an utter boob and that they are being treated like an abused, beaten housewife who keeps coming back for more, insisting her drunk husband didn't mean it, that she probably had it coming, that the cuts and bruises and blood and broken bones are all for her own good.
I listened to NPR and talk radio today for as long as I could. I got to hear people like George Lakoff, Thomas Frank, and others try to explain yesterday's results. For me, though, it comes down to one thing--the Reps are far better than the Dems at juking the system. I'm not suggesting that's the only reason that Bush won, but the fact that 1/4 of the states had gay marriage bans on the ballot guaranteed a sizable vote from the more intolerant of my fellow Americans. Any guess about which way that vote broke? The amazing thing about that (and I heard plenty of callers today announce that it was one of the reasons they voted for Bush) is that Kerry is no more liberal than Bush on that topic.
And the fact that these referenda were on the ballot yesterday is not an accident. Blah blah blah mobilize the base blah blah blah. The quickest way to get those people to vote is to play on their fear and/or hatred. And it worked again. Hooray for phobocracy.