One of the most simultaneously comforting and frustrating notions held by us liberals is that if those salt-of-the-earth, heartland Middle America voters really knew what Democrats and Republicans stood for, or if they really knew what our Republican politicians and their supporters were getting up to, the GOP would end up like a right-wing version of the Green Party. And while I think this is true, I don't think it goes far enough. American voters also need to understand the game that the Republicans and their corporate media are running on them: Campaigns that rely on smears, fears, homophobia and xenophobia; news and opinion that consistently advance Republican narratives.The Democrats didn't exactly nail it 100%, but they took some huge steps in the right direction. They called the Republicans on their hatemongering and hypocrisy and corruption (with a huge assist from the Republicans themselves - thank you, Messrs. Allen, Foley, Hastert, Ney, DeLay, Cunningham, etc.), and they didn't shy away from the war.
What I want to see the Democrats do this time is refuse to play the Republicans' game, but call them on it instead. Rather than simply saying, "We do too hate terrorists and gay people just as much as the Republicans! More, even!", call the Republicans on what they're doing. Say, "The Republicans have failed and dishonored this country in every way imaginable, and all they can do is campaign on hate and fear. Do they think you're that easy to distract? Is this all they think you care about?" Americans love to congratulate themselves on their bullshit-detecting abilities, and therefore hate being played. Unfortunately, they hate admitting that they've been played even more, which is why so many still cling to the idea that the Republicans actually want what's best for America, and why the Democrats have to make it very explicit and impossible to dismiss or ignore.
Ultimately, what I want to see is the Republicans' distraction-and-boogeyman strategy blow up in their faces. I believe that the day that Americans see it for the sham that it is and reject it, is the day that we finally start to get our country back.
More importantly, it looks like the American people finally Got It. This time around they rejected the narrative that the Rovepublicans have been pushing since 2002, and without it, the GOP has very little left to run on. It's like the moment in V (no relation to The Shadowy And Mysterious One) when the aliens' true reptilian face is revealed, and everyone realizes that they're not here to help us after all.