As many know, it was an ambitious lawyer named Arlen Specter, working on the Warren Commission inquiry into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who is credited with having conceived of the "single bullet" theory that somehow established that Kennedy's only assailant was Lee Harvey Oswald.
The theory has been termed by skeptics as the "magic bullet" theory. Those critics portray that bullet as having curved, spun and changed directions on its way to Kennedy's head. That's the only way, they say, that Oswald alone could have killed him.
Now Specter has become a living personification of his single bullet theory, this one aimed at the Republican Party, and "fired" when Specter switched to the Democratic side of the U.S. Senate. The GOP faces many other potentially mortal magic political bullets.
Combined with the likely eventual seating of funny man and soon-to-be U.S. Sen. Al Franken, Specter's bullet will have delivered on many issues a filibuster-proof Senate. And with that filibuster goes the last morsel of power the Republicans had in Congress.
No matter how hard they deny it, Republicans must face the fact that Barack Obama has high approval ratings after his first 100 days in office.
Moreover, the Democratic Congress has essentially taken the emergency economic actions started under President Bush and somehow managed to now have government owning banks, insurance companies and car manufacturers. (And in the case of the automakers, the potential owners are both government and unions.)
The same Congressional majority has proposed an almost incomprehensible mountain of debt. As a result, they are scaring the daylights out of core conservatives and some independent voters.
But it does no good to be convinced a ship is sinking if most of the other passengers are dancing on the decks and toasting the captain. Most Americans see stimulus efforts and government intervention as being proactive fixes to what ails America, rather than the start of a slippery slope toward socialism.
There are other magic bullets besides Arlen Specter in the Democrats' bandolier, and they're using them shrewdly. For one, no one likes credit card companies, not even the so-called rich. So the Obama administration is going after them at quick speed. That's a shiny bullet that only makes him more popular.
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