Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07)
If you earn the endorsement of the Club for Growth, a radical anti-tax organization determined to keep this country in multitrillion-dollar debt for eons to come, that's a strike against you right there. Here are two more: suggesting that Baghdad is "as safe and cared for as Detroit" and pushing the long-discredited myth that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. Walberg's either an idiot or just a total douche; in the interest of fairness, I'll let him choose which one.
Defeated by: Mark Schauer, minority leader in the Michigan state senate and founding board member of Battle Creek Habitat for Humanity.
Sen. Elizabeth Dole (NC)
There was a time when I never would've dreamed of putting Liddy Dole on a list like this -- she seemed so sweet and grandmotherly, and she did a good job as head of the American Red Cross. But after getting elected to the U.S. Senate in 2001 from North Carolina -- a state where she hadn't held permanent residence in more than 40 years -- she proceeded to do precisely jack squat, to the point where even fellow Republicans were grumbling about her lack of leadership. The final straw came late last month, when Dole, facing a closer challenge from her Democratic opponent than anyone expected, got desperate and released a repellent, if not downright slanderous, attack ad accusing that opponent of accepting a donation from an atheist group and implying that she was an atheist herself. For that offense, Liddy got exactly the punishment she deserved: losing her Senate seat and being sent home to grapple with a Viagra-juiced Bob Dole. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you.
Defeated by: North Carolina state senator Kay Hagan, who is not only not an atheist, but is in fact a Sunday-school teacher. (Incidentally, her Guilford County district is where Sarah Palin made her "pro-America parts of America" remark a few weeks ago; Guilford went for Barack Obama by a margin of 18 percentage points.)
Rep. Robin Hayes (NC-08)
Another brilliant Republican legislator from the Tarheel State, Hayes said at an October rally for John McCain in Concord, N.C., that "liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God." Later, he denied he said it, and then when someone came up with an audio recording of him saying it, he denied that he denied he said it. While you're trying to figure all that out, Rob, howsabout we find someone to take over your legislatin' duties for a little while.
Defeated by: Former textile worker Larry Kissell, who lost to Hayes two years ago by a margin of just 329 votes.
Rep. Bill Sali (ID-01)
You've got to be a baaaad Republican candidate to lose to a Democrat in ultra-conservative Idaho, and make no mistake, Bill Sali was a baaaad candidate -- so bad, in fact, that it's shocking he even got elected in the first place: Both his predecessor in the 1st District and his soon-to-be-colleague from the 2nd District publicly ridiculed him during his first run for Congress, and the Republican speaker of the Idaho House, where Sali served for eight terms, called him "an absolute idiot." Sounds about right: Earlier this year, Sali supported massive deforestation in his home state by saying that there "could be up to 40 barrels of oil" in each tree.
Defeated by: Walt Minnick, a staff assistant to Richard Nixon turned Democrat and entrepreneur.
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (CO-04)
Quite simply, one of the most worthless members of Congress in history. In three terms as a national legislator, she focused pretty much exclusively on two "issues": restricting the rights of homosexuals, and trying to force her Pentecostal beliefs on as many people as possible. In 2006, with the country still mired in two overseas wars, Musgrave called gay marriage "the most important issue that we face today." Through it all, she weathered numerous controversies over her campaign funding, including the fact that she got $30,000 from Tom DeLay's PAC and refused to either return the money or donate it to charity. The entire country is better off for no longer having this silly, ignorant, petty woman involved in its legislative process.
Defeated by: Betsy Markey, who worked in both the Treasury and State departments under Reagan and who founded a successful software company upon entering the private sector.
And now, a Not-So-Random Ten to mark this historic election:
1. Tears for Fears, "Change"
2. Public Enemy, "Brother's Gonna Work It Out"
3. The Chambers Brothers, "Time Has Come Today"
4. The Streets, "Let's Push Things Forward"
5. Deee-Lite, "Vote Baby Vote"
6. Bobby Darin, "I'm Beginning to See the Light"
7. BT, "Embracing the Future"
8. Massive Attack, "Better Things"
9. Talking Heads, "What a Day That Was"
10. Trey Parker, "America, Fuck Yeah"
Your turn to put your own Random or Not-So-Random Tens in the comments, along with any personally satisfying victories or moments from the '08 election. (And here's to a Sarah Palin nomination in '12.)