Many liberals are beside themselves. Things were bearable when they could delude themselves into blaming their loss of power on a "stolen" election. But with this decisive defeat, they're thinking, "It's not our America anymore."
As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, "But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don't just favor different policies than I do -- they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is."
Liberals can live with their belief that nearly half the people are stupid. It was even tolerable to be out of power because they knew it would only be a matter of time before they recaptured power following a proper tutorial of the unwashed masses.
But now that they feel that America has truly slipped out of their grasp, they are even angrier than they were in 2000. Their angst proceeds from an arrogant feeling of superiority and entitlement that tells them they alone should be in power and that conservatives should keep their intolerant, bigoted views to themselves.
They are incredulous that they're not just under moronic rule but in a moronic nation. Yet, there's also that nagging doubt, that ray of hope that if they had just packaged themselves properly, they would have won the election, which would mean that a majority of Americans aren't Neanderthals after all and they wouldn't have to move to Canada.
So in their post-election analysis, we're seeing this conflict. In one paragraph we see a rage born of hopeless defeatism, and in the next, an expression that all is not yet lost and that they can still salvage a better America, "our America." If we just put forward the right candidate with the right zipcode, who will say the right things and with proper emotion we'll be back -- with a vengeance.
Concerning moral issues, for example, they are bashing conservatives for promoting values while simultaneously beating themselves up for not promoting their own. On the one hand, they're saying, "How dare those holy rolling do-gooders inject morals and religion into the campaign?" As columnist Susanna Rodell puts it, "The religious bigots, who think it's Christian to hate gay people ? are winning the ideological battle in this country."
On the other hand, they're saying, "Hey, they don't have a monopoly on religion, morals or values." As Rodell puts it, "We're going to have to put our values (you remember the ones: charity, love, that sort of thing) back into the public eye, and we're going to have to be loud about it."