Yesterday the Republicans lost a special election in Mississippi's 1st congressional district which they had previously held since 1994. In the 2004 Presidential election, George W. Bush won this district by almost 20 points. In fact, it was considered so safe that its previous representative, former Congressman Roger Wicker, had no qualms when he gave up his seat there in order to fill out the Senate term of the retiring Trent Lott.
Nevertheless, as in the two special elections this year in which they lost long-held seats in Illinois and Louisiana, the Republicans lost Sen. Wicker's former district--by eight percentage points.
This an embarassing defeat that reveals much about the GOP's current state of ineptitutde. After losing both of their congressional majorities in the 2006 midterm elections, the GOP and its companions on talk radio vowed to bring out a new agenda which spoke to the heart of the problems being faced by average Americans. Unfortunately, that agenda has never materialized and as far as one can tell, the Republicans, in the last two years, have stood for nothing beyond big government, a pointless war in Iraq, and inaction on energy.
The Republicans will be thrown out in even greater numbers this fall because voters are tired of seeing their representatives bowing down to big war and voting for blank checks to continue funding an occupation of Iraq with a point and purpose that has never been defined.
Voters are tired of paying $4.00 a gallon for gasoline and seeing Republicans respond by arguing over whether to temporarily take a few pennies off the price. People in America have had enough of seeing their jobs leaving for India and China and then being scolded by the Republican presidential nominee for not appreciating the great "economic benefits" as he put it, that their newfound state of unemployment has brought them.
Americans have naturally grown weary of seeing their wages go down as the cost of living soars, while the richest Americans become richer, and the government spends more and more. People would like to be able to spend their money on things they need, such as health care and housing, instead of handing over their dollars to be wasted by a Republican government with an unquenchable appetite for money.
The Republicans could have reformed themselves after the 2006 election and started speaking to the needs and concerns of America, but, as it happened, they did not. They continued their drunken, irresponsible waste of taxpayer, as well as their war, and failed to focus on energy, even as gas prices soared.
To the Republicans, dropping bombs on slums in Iraq and firing cruise missiles at donkey sheds in Somalia was more important than addressing issues here at home. Threatening Iran became a priority and John McCain is even talking about the "next war."
Since the GOP had nothing to run on in Mississippi besides more war and government waste, they tried to run by criticizing the Democrats, instead of telling voters what they were for. The strategy didn't work, most of all because the Democrat ran as an anti-war, pro-life conservative who talked about fiscal discipline and energy alternatives, in effect, stealing the Republican playbook right from under their nose.
We need Republicans who will talk about what they are for, not what they are against. Democrats can be beat very easily, except when the Republicans stand for nothing like they've done for the past 8 years.