Despite all the tricks and games, despite all the secrecy, lies, media spin, and deceit, despite the apathy and passivity of 60% of the population, at least some people were paying attention. Paying attention to the realities in Iraq, paying attention to the rampant corruption and abuse of power by the White House junta, paying attention to the plight of non-billionaire Americans struggling to get by.
Every candidate Bush campaigned for lost. His attempt to scare voters with his attacks on Pelosi as a "San Francisco liberal" backfired. Exit polls found voters concerned about Iraq, about Republican corruption, about the economy. They weren't buying the fear tactic.
The only Republican who did well was Arnold, who is also the only Republican who ever admitted he was wrong, listened to the people, and changed his ways.
This election showed once again that while Hitlerian tactics will always work for a time, they don't have legs.
Democracy in America, as feeble as it often seems, is still alive.