Present and future Democrat strategy: In spite of a black man in the White House, it looks like Democrat strategists will continue to use claims of widespread racism among whites to demonize Republicans and their policies. And they will probably do it forever.
In the Political Brain, Drew Westin argues that Democrats must reveal the Right's very effective metanarrative for the racist ideology it is. While Republicans talk about limited government, low taxes, controlled immigration, states rights, etc., it is actually code for, "Join us and stick it to the Black Man."
Westin uses neuroscience research to show that people have conscious and unconscious motivational networks, and then links what Republicans say about race, and what they really feel about it deep down. In order to win elections, Democrats have to always bring this hatred to light. When Trent Lott praised Strom Thurmond, for example, he revealed his true feelings for blacks.
Westin says that this sort of revelation must be exploited mercilessly. According to the author, Republican strategists are such geniuses, they have been decades ahead of the science, and have been activating racist unconscious networks since Nixon. He uses the 2006 Harold Ford race to claim that Republican mad scientists knew exactly what they were doing when they ran an ad with the words, "He's just not right." The strategists knew that the phrase would activate neural networks, causing whites to interpret the phrase as "He's just not white."
With all the recent science showing that that racial bias is hardwired, we can expect Democrats to find hatred in every meaningless thing Republicans do or say. Their message will be that all conservatives are haters--fallen men, in fact--and the only way to redemption is to, say, support universal health care.
Guys like Westin want his party to use this strategy much more, not less in the future. I think they will--we saw plenty of it in 2008--and all I can hope is that it backfires in the long run. If many whites are like me, being browbeaten long enough will turn a person of good will into a rebel.