Politically speaking, President Barack Obama is almost as toxic as the ominous viruses he continues to mismanage. Every Democratic candidate fears the contagion and seeks to quarantine himself from his presence and policies.
It's hardly unfair to say that Obama has earned his current condition, having squandered more unearned goodwill than any president in recent memory.
Despite his fall, during a speech at Northwestern University earlier this month, Obama couldn't resist blurting out: "I'm not on the ballot this fall. Michelle's pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot -- every single one of them."
Actually, he didn't just blurt it out. These were prepared remarks. He fully meant to say that every Democrat running for national office is tied to his record and his agenda going forward. In fact, he specified a number of items that he had in mind, from boasting of his economic record and aggressively defending Obamacare to advocating a minimum wage hike and an extension of unemployment benefits.
After throwing his fellow Democrats under that careening bus with which he's driving the United States into ever greater despair, he turned to his favorite subject: demonizing, slandering and scapegoating Republicans for the distressing state of affairs he has created but whose existence he just finished denying.
Democratic candidates were probably mortified that Obama had given them a shoutout and hoped it had been an accident. At the very least, they prayed that he wouldn't repeat the favor, especially as November drew closer.
But just a few days ago, Obama doubled down on his love while on Al Sharpton's radio show. As if he were talking in the privacy of his living room, Obama said, referring to Democratic candidates: "It is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turnout. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. They are on the right side of minimum wage. They are on the right side of fair pay. They are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure. They're on the right side of early childhood education."
He continued: "So this isn't about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. And I tell them, I said, 'You know what, you do what you need to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out.'"
People are scratching their heads and wondering why Obama would be so candid to the point of acknowledging that Democratic candidates have been lying in denying their support for him, especially when it could serve no political purpose. I don't think it's complicated at all.
Though his frankness may hurt his party, it puts him in a better light, and as passionate as he is about completing his agenda and consummating his fundamental transformation of America, he is always more passionate about serving his own interests.
If there is even a hint that his record and policies have tainted Democrats, he cannot let that stand. He cannot sit idly by at the suggestion that his record has been anything but superlative or that rational people, including his fellow Democratic politicians, could oppose it. But Democratic Missouri state Senate candidate Ed Schieffer told a tea party group: "My biggest enemy in my election is not (my opponent) Jeanie Riddle. My biggest enemy is the president of the United States. My great, educated father knew that and said, 'Eddie, you don't have to worry too much about the lady running against you. You need to worry about the liberal, overly liberal, president and Congress we have. That's what you have to worry about.'"
Such statements obviously don't even register with Obama. The very narcissism, absence of self-reflection, and extreme ideological rigidity that have characterized him in office are what keep him from politely distancing himself from his party's candidates until after the election, when an unlikely Democratic victory would clear the way for him to be "more flexible" in terms of expressing his camaraderie with his fellow travelers.
That is, he just can't help himself from loving on Democratic House and Senate candidates even for a short while. No; perhaps it's more accurate to say that he just won't help himself because that would be to deny himself, and that is simply not in his nature. Besides, he doesn't need a Democratic congressional majority all that much anyway, what with his presidential pen and telephone.
In the final analysis, President Obama is so enamored with himself and his agenda that it doesn't occur to him in any realistic sense just how unpopular he and his policies now are. Even if I'm wrong, he's not about to repent, because there's no room inside his psychological hotel to consider that he's ever been wrong.
On the bright side, those of us on the right side of history should be somewhat grateful for Obama's inflexibility at this point because it should help lead to his party's resounding defeat in November. For make no mistake: His policies will be on the ballot -- every single one of them.