Affixed to a piece of paper pinned to the wall of my cubicle is a Post-It note with the following inscription:

Abilene via Bangs – 1,589 miles

I put this note there to remind me of an organizational phenomenon known as the Abilene Paradox first studied by noted management expert and George Washington University Professor (Emeritus) Jerry Harvey. For those of you unwilling to follow the link, the Abilene Paradox happens when an entire organization makes a phenomenally bad decision simply because nobody has the guts to disagree with what everyone seems to think is a good idea.

Every single organization – political or otherwise – has at one time or another crammed themselves in the back of the proverbial un-airconditioned Studebaker and driven the long dusty Texas highway in the middle of a dust storm to eat really bad food at a sloppy diner. Then they’ve re-crammed themselves back into the Studebaker furnace and driven back through the dust storm, all the while telling each other what a great time they’re having. Everybody knows it was a bad idea. Nobody really wanted to go, but nobody had the guts to disagree until it was too late.

At this moment, the Democratic Party is on its way to Abilene. Howie “I Have A Scream” Dean is driving the Studebaker and telling people what a great time they’re going to have at the diner. Nobody is really sure who first suggested that Obama would be the Dem’s best shot at the White House. They all pretty much ignored Hillary’s banshee shrieks because they’d come to expect that from her. Within the ranks there are worried rumblings about Obama as the drip, drip, drip of his questionable background, thin political skin, and parchment thin resume continue to make headlines the Party could do without. Even with the rumblings, nobody – except Hillary – has the guts to disagree with the masses and stop the Studebaker.

The Democratic Party’s collective gutlessness may well be founded in the fact there aren’t really any good alternatives to Obama. Hillary is loathed by nearly half the electorate. Algore is too busy flying around the world lecturing people on their postage stamp sized carbon footprint while his own carbon usage dwarfs that of many developing nations. Then, of course, there was John Edwards – the man who singularly kept Aquanet Hairspray in business for so many years.

Perhaps Obama is the best the Democrats can do. If that be the case, then they have more problems than I can here delineate. So, off they go to Abilene.

And, in case you were wondering, from Denver, the trip to Abilene – via Bangs – is 868 miles.