As he stands on the sidelines, seemingly oblivious to what's going on in the world, President-elect Barack Obama opts out of the game by proclaiming that there's only one president at a time.
That's another way of saying, "Let George do it," when the Middle East erupts in violence, the economy continues to slump, and the governor of his state defies demands that he step down.
His almost nonchalant approach to the turmoil around him has thus far protected him from adverse reactions from his real base -- the media -- but that immunity from harsh criticism has not extended to his political base, the far left. They are after him hammer and tongs.
Barack Obama will not become president until January 20, but the far left of his party is already blaming him for all sorts of alleged omissions. He seems to have violated the liberal's major shibboleth, "No enemies to the left." He's suddenly acquired a whole slew of them.
He may have chosen a few bomb throwers to serve in his Cabinet or the White House, but that hasn't satisfied the more dainty of the lefties who are appalled at his selection of Pastor Rick Warren, who committed the unpardonable sin of not only opposing gay marriage, but actually promoted Proposition 8, which banned the aberration in California.
Up on Capitol Hill the Democrats are out of sorts because he failed to act more quickly on his planned stimulus package, and Barney Frank -- an openly homosexual Democrat from Massachusetts -- is enraged over the choice of Rick Warren.
They simply don't buy his only-one-president-at-a-time alibi. They want him to start acting presidential now, and all he's been doing in Hawaii is physical exercise (when he's not showing off his pecs to the gaga media).
The left is also unhappy with the economic team he's assembled -- a group of moderates who embrace traditional approaches to economic policies rather than the openly socialistic nostrums the Marxist wing of his party cherishes.
His problem with Congress lies in the fact that Congress never accepts responsibility for anything. They shift whatever blame there is in any situation downtown to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but wallow in the glory of anything that goes right.
The boys and girls on Capitol Hill were more responsible for the current economic mess that any other entity, but they shift the blame to the Bush administration, which had in fact tried to forestall the crisis and was blocked from acting by such top Democrats as Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd, who were drinking heavily at the money fountains of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.
The fact that they haven't done anything worthwhile is all Obama's fault, and starting on January 20 they'll blame him for anything that goes wrong. His honeymoon will more quickly resemble a marriage on the brink of divorce rather than a joyous romp at Niagara Falls.
All this, sadly, is simply a sign of the decline now evident in Washington with the utter absence of backbone and leadership.
The taste of Barack Obama's triumphant victory could well turn out to be ashes in his mouth rather than that of honey. He has climbed the hill to the top and found it covered with thorns and thistles and poison ivy, instead of the roses he expected.
Shortly after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Sen. Barry Goldwater dropped by the White House to see his friend and former Senate colleague President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
When Barry asked him how he was, JFK looked at him, threw up his arms and said "What a lousy fouled up job this has turned out to be."
Welcome to the White House, President Obama. Enjoy your stay. Have a great New Year. You are in our prayers.
And Happy New Year to one and all.