Hard to see any reason to hope that 2008 will be any different than previous Presidential elections. The press' piling on the "Wright Affair" is just a sample of the nonsense that will be peddled throughout the election (no matter who the Democratic nominee is).
It's easy to blame the press, which no doubt bears a large share of the responsibility for ending the madness. But where are the Democratic 527's running Hagee ads? Where are the elected Dems who are calling on McCain to denounce, repudiate, etc.?
We cannot expect to be successful if we don't show vigor in our campaigns. Kerry came to be seen as ineffective in his responses to Swift Boat, just as Obama risks the same thing here. (And if HRC were the leader, or the candidate Republicans feared more, then she too would be portrayed as unable to stop the media firestorm over "Pardon-gate" or whatever phone-baloney controversy was ginned up to smear her.)
Unless a majority of individual voters is somehow able to form and elect leaders who are both committed to change and have the skills to bring change about, there's no hope. And so far, I'm not seeing anything like the necessary majority of voters. I want to believe in my fellow Americans and their essential goodness, but when I overhear them talking about Obama and Hillary, I wonder if there are enough open minds left...