Politics in this country is tricky. The nano-second you think things are under control and - pop - everything goes wild.
Tuesday night - two nights ago! - began with Mitt Romney owning the Republican presidential nomination. By night's end he'd been beat badly - beaten in the all three states where he was running. All that money of his, all that power of the Republican wait-your-turn crowd, all that media statement that things were just swell - and, guess what! - the voter had something to say.
I am so happy. I am so happy that voters don't listen to the money men, don't listen to the power of what they're supposed to do, don't listen to us on TV, by that I mean people who are paid to tell you what's going on, what's going to happen, the decisions that have already been made, what you're allowed to do in the voting booth - no, don't listen to anyone; they just go in those voting booths and do what makes them feel good.
Ernest Hemingway once described his moral code as really quite simple. "Good" is what you feel good about afterward. "Bad" is what you don't.
I don't think people feel good, especially, about voting for Newt Gingrich, just too much stuff there. After voting for Mitt Romney, it's even worse: they don't feel anything.
The same thing goes for this matter involving the church and birth control.
If anyone in the White House told the president this thing was cooked they were so wrong-headed, the president should reconsider their value. The job of people in politics, the pro's is to warn the boss of trouble ahead. If they did, fine. If they didn't, not fine, not good.
The Democratic coalition, if it is to be a protest faction, can afford to be about 35 percent or 40 percent of the country. If it is to be a governing coalition, a Democratic governing coalition it needs to be at least 55 percent. That's what it takes to govern. It takes 60 senators - remember! - to get anything through Congress, to get anything done.
To keep that coalition together takes care, especially in an election year that may well be decided by a few percentage points. Remember, President Obama was elected with 53 percent. He's done important historic work - like health care - that could cost him much of that 3 percent that took him across the finish line. He can't afford to give away a one or two more points by a poorly played performance on an issue that cuts close to the grain of those very voters who, like it or not, tend to decide elections.