Once more emphasizing that the election was mostly about committed "fortress red" voters flexing on "chateau blue" states, I just wanted to link to one or two more commentators.
Matthew Yglesias is on an absolute roll.
Jim Henley also talks quite a lot about the debacle of losing even though Bush basically gave up the center. Money quote:
".... it appears that the Republicans will have won thanks to their direst characteristics, reifying of the national security state and codifying the moral outlook of a particular slice of Christendom into law. And the Democrats will have lost thanks to their equivocal stands against promiscuous war and for civil liberty - their best characteristics. I can envision some good things coming from Bush II, and some bad things not happening that would have happened under Kerry. But on balance this is a bad election to be a libertarian."
I do have one issue with his analysis. He claims the wooing of the "morality" vote of one of the undecided groups was all done sub rosa. C'mon! Karl Rove was saying "Guns, Gays, God" for a whole year! I think instead it was not taken seriously by the circle of people I read. (I was blindsided as well.)
Rove didn't disguise this strategy at all, which incidentally I regard as curious, to put it mildly, for a self-described fan of the Federalist Papers.
Note to self: it's not considered pandering if it works.