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All Democrats who have to run for re-election next year will know this feeling.

I was a passenger on a military flight refueling in Goose Bay, Labrador. The other passengers were mostly military officers, who were either reading or sleeping. I got increasingly interested in the refueling process.

As I watched, the aviation fuel seemed to ignite and turn the entire wing into a sheet of flame. I was the only one who seemed to care. I wanted to jump up and shout, “Let’s get out of here. This plane’s on fire!” Why didn’t I? There’s a moment when the human ego shoves aside even the powerful urge to survive.

“This sheet of flame,” I reasoned, “could be perfectly normal, and I don’t want to come across as a stupid terror-stricken ass who doesn’t understand what it’s like to refuel in sub-zero temperature.”

So, I said nothing, did nothing and eventually congratulated myself when the flame gradually diminished and we were good to go again.

Attention, all you up-and-running Democrats. Don’t you feel the connection? Maybe you don’t have a wing on fire, but you’re tied to a president whose popularity is low and tumbling. And I need no supernatural powers to know you’re debating with yourself whether to play it normal for a while in hopes Obama can “straighten up and fly right” or whether it’s time to yell, “Let’s get out of here!” break from the president and seek to save your own congressional skins by scrubbing away all those Obama particles.

And, by the way, how long is “a while”?

Every day that goes by without you distancing yourself or defecting from Obama binds you closer to him. Let’s pretend the monumental lies about “keeping-your-health-plan-and-your-doctor” get forgiven and forgotten and the positive features of Obamacare slowly supersede the incredible failures of the roll-out. Let’s further pretend the public’s disdain for the law itself wanes and even reverses. Finally, let’s pretend some of the old personal Obama-magic comes in from the cold and re-warms hearts from coast to coast. It’s hard to foresee such a package without the help of illegal substances, but we’re pretending! If all that were to come true, your refusal to jump ship or in any way desert President Obama will have been a brilliant move. But the smart money at the moment says, increasingly more loudly, that those who can successfully manage to flee their Obama links are making the wiser move. But the longer you wait, the less pleased your constituents will be, and the angrier they will sound when they ask you, “What took you so long?”

I’d love to eavesdrop on you and your fellow bedeviled Democrats weighing the probabilities here. Can anything short of Divine intervention possibly extricate the president, the administration and the Democratic Party from their Great Dismal Swamp of negativity? Or is the reliability of that famous Republican stupidity strong enough or certain enough to rescue Obama and the Democrats?

Look back upon where recent history has taken us. A generation ago, the writer Franz Kafka was a cult hero, almost entirely because of the opening paragraph of just one of his stories, the one about the guy who woke up one morning and realized that overnight he’d turned into a cockroach.

What better exemplifies the Democratic dilemma? You up-for-re-election Democrats are thinking so loudly I can hear you: “What went wrong? The Republicans are the rotten ones. Even kids know that. What could be more respectable than the Democratic Party, the party of FDR, JFK and millions of guys-and-gals next door?”

I can almost hear the cries of you “innocent Democrats” echoing from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam. They’re cries of desperation as Obama increasingly becomes an object of ridicule and contempt. “What have I done to deserve this?” you’re silently screaming. “I hitched my political wagon to a clean and triumphant star. What’s going on?” It must be close to torture, as honey curdles into political venom, when Republican candidates for your seat – candidates nobody, including you, ever heard of – are suddenly drawing crowds and rising in the polls, waving to Obama as he passes them in the polls on his way down.

Can you imagine thinking you were in a safe, Democratic seat – so safe it was actually cozy – and here comes your opponent’s political commercial on TV starring you, in your own voice, saying, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor …” Who’s got the stomach muscles to listen to the end of the sentence?

Sorry. Democracy has a way of confecting political justice. America never has owned up to the rottenness of the Big-Obamacare-Lie. It’s viewed almost as a mere face-mask penalty that cost the guilty football team a few yards. It has never been nailed down and openly proclaimed, admitted and confirmed that, without that Big-Lie, the Obamacare law never would have become law in the first place.

When then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass this bill so we can see what’s in it!” we labeled her a Biden-class fool. It turns out hers was one of the most honest and courageous confessions in U. S. political history.

Welcome, Democrats, to democracy, where they name a street after you one day and chase you down it the next.

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