Republicans Turn to Drugs

Overshadowed by Hillary Clinton’s big win in West Virginia was a big victory for Democrats in Mississippi.

In Mississippi’s 1st congressional district, Democrat Travis Childers defeated Republican Greg Davis in a 62 percent Republican district that George W. Bush carried in 2004 with over 60 percent of the vote. And this transpired even though — or maybe because — Dick Cheney flew to Mississippi and spent election eve campaigning for the Republican candidate.

Poor Greg Davis. Campaigning with Cheney proved almost as dangerous as going hunting with him!

The Democratic victory in Mississippi doesn’t stand alone. This is the third special election held this year — all in Republican strongholds — and, under the leadership of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Democrats have won all three. Which is, of course, a great omen for Democratic chances in November and which leaves Republicans tongue-tied.

After his party’s latest embarrassing defeat, House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) explained: “The results in Mississippi should serve as a wake-up call to Republican candidates nationwide. As I’ve said before, this is a change election ... Our presidential nominee, Sen. McCain, is an agent of change.”

Which is, almost word for word, how Boehner defended his loss in Louisiana, 10 days earlier: “The result this weekend in Louisiana’s 6th congressional district should serve as a wake-up call to Republican candidates across the country ... Our presidential nominee, Sen. McCain, is an agent of change.”

How many “wake-up calls” does Boehner need before he gets the message? If there were any doubt Republicans are in complete disarray, they quickly erased it. Boehner and other House GOP leaders announced yesterday they’d adopted a new slogan for the 2008 campaign season: “The Change You Deserve.” There’s only one problem. It turns out that phrase is already a trademarked advertising slogan for the antidepressant drug Effexor.

Manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Effexor is prescribed for “depression, anxiety disorder, and panic disorder” among adults. In other words, it’s just what congressional Republicans need. Except they should be taking the drug, not selling it.

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