I think the big news in this election is that Karl Rove's strategy of pandering to the Republicans' evangelical base has worked. The top concern listed by Bush voters at exit polls was "moral issues", i.e. gay marriage:
"It was like the churches just got fed up - it was like a balloon that just burst," said Phil Burress, leader of the Cincinnati-based Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage, a group that put the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage on the ballot. "We had a massive turnout, and lots of people are saying it gave the president the victory."
So I guess we can expect a lot of talk from Republicans about gay marriage, family values, etc. in the next few years, as it seems to have been a winning strategy for getting nervous theocrats out to the polls. I can hardly wait.
There are some silver linings, though.
The youth vote was 54% for Kerry, up from 48% for Gore in 2000. Add in the younger voters that opted for Bush in spite of his evangelical pandering rather than because of it as well as whatever percent went for Nader or Badnarik, and it's clear that the theocratic demographic ("theographic"? Maybe not) is on it's way out. In twenty years, the electorate as a whole will likely be far more socially libertarian than it is now. Which is why the religious right is working so hard to enshrine its intolerance in the constitution.
Unfortunately, Bush's influence on the Supreme Court could still be in effect in twenty years. But if my read on the numbers is right (and it is), Senate Democrats still have the ability to filibuster against particularly noxious nominees. And I think it's safe to expect some will be fairly noxious. I can only hope the Dems in the Senate take their role in judicial confirmations more seriously than they take their role in declaring war.