The word was appropriate in assessing the results of the 2010 midterm congressional elections and it was certainly appropriate here in Mississippi.
Here, two incumbent Democratic congressmen were turned out and decidedly so one a ten-term incumbent subcommittee chairman.
That fact doesn't bode well for Mississippi Democrats as the 2011 statewide elections from the courthouse to the statehouse loom nearer and nearer. And it begs the question of just what?s happened to the Mississippi Democratic Party.
Lack of visibility
The party?s Web site has been static since June. According to a gentleman who identified himself as "field director" Jason Harper when he answered the Mississippi Democratic Party headquarters? phone in Jackson, the headquarters is closed "for renovations and will reopen after the renovations for qualifying in January."
Less than a year ago, the party?s Web site was active, the Democratic Party had an active and engaged staff and was doing a significant amount of party-building activities. Former party executive director Sam Hall departed in August. Hall announced his decision to step down as executive director of the party and said in a blog post that he was returning to his private consulting firm.
The invisibility of the Mississippi Democratic Party in the midterms was simply stunning. Meanwhile, Mississippi Republicans are operating a fully-functional, 24/7/365 effort in the state. State GOP chairman Brad White's visibility and party-building work was constant during the midterms.
During a talk radio interview with state Sen. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis last week, I asked Baria if we had reached the point in Mississippi that winning the Republican nomination in Mississippi was tantamount to winning the election.
On the air and on the record, Baria said: ?We?re close to that. The Democratic Party is in trouble in Mississippi and we?ve got to get better organization and better leadership.?
Baria is a proud Democrat and believes in the party. But there are other Democrats who are losing faith both in the philosophies of the party and in the organizational viability of the Mississippi party proper.
Conversions of elected officials from the Democratic Party to the GOP continue steadily in Mississippi with none - to my knowledge - going the other way.
GOP officials say more converts are coming soon. That fact should worry the
state's Democrat leaders. Obama's presidential victory and the acquisition of sizeable majorities in both houses of Congress in 2008 should have energized the state Democratic Party with both resources and people. But the fact is that Mississippi Democrats may well have lost ground over the first two years of Obama's tenure.
But for incumbent Democrats facing the voters in 2011, the 2010 midterms and the general lack of organization and activity in the Mississippi Democratic Party have to make those candidates wonder if the party structure will be AWOL next fall?
Contact syndicated columnist Sid Salter at (601) 961-7084 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.