Dreams can be funny things. Hard to know what prompts them, even harder to figure out what they mean.
Twice in the last three months, I've dreamt that I've misplaced my golf clubs at a tournament. I wake up in a cold sweat and realize it was just a dream and first thing in the morning, I check my office to make sure my clubs are safe.
Anyway, let me tell you about another recent dream.
I'm at home sitting down with The InterMountain, and my heart skips a beat. A headline screams, "Manchin a Republican." Here's the "story," as I recall:
WASHINGTON - Sen. Joe Manchin has switched parties.
The West Virginia Democrat announced Friday that he can no longer support his party's agenda and that he has changed his affiliation to "Republican."
He said the Obama administration's recent decision to launch a war on coal pushed him over the edge and into the GOP camp. West Virginia is the nation's second-largest coal producing state. (Wyoming is first.)
The "story" continued:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declined to comment.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he welcomes Manchin to his side of the aisle. "I know Joe and like him. He's smart and made of great stuff. And best of all, he has integrity, a character trait that's common in West Virginia."
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who is retiring at the end of his term, said he was "shocked" by his colleague's decision. He added, "Gee, I wish I'd thought of that."
West Virginia Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who followed Manchin into the governor's mansion in Charleston, said, "Wherever Joe goes, I go." He refused to elaborate.
The "story" continued:
Manchin, reading from a prepared statement, said he has been "uneasy" with the Obama presidency for "quite some time" and is switching parties because Obama "has crossed the line once too often, using independent administrative agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency to frustrate the will of the people.
"When the president recently announced that he's telling the EPA to target coal producers and coal users, I decided enough is enough."
Manchin added, "Our Founding Fathers devised a system of checks and balances, and the president is using trickery to once again short-circuit the system. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, but the president ignores it and seeks to dismantle this once great nation."
Obamacare was the first "red flag" of the Obama presidency, Manchin said. "It's turning into a nightmare that nobody, and I mean nobody, wants."
Other presidential initiatives causing concern, he said, include the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which had an eventual price tag of $831 billion. The act was passed before Manchin took office.
"The president said the money would go to 'shovel-ready jobs.' As it turns out, the act was blatant corporate cronyism. And later, when called to account, the president joked, 'Shovel-ready was not as ... uh .. shovel-ready as we expected.'"
Manchin said, "There's absolutely nothing funny about misleading the public on how tax dollars are going to be spent. His 'joke' shows how much disdain he has for the American people."
The senator also said he's shocked by the administration scandals. "The Benghazi cover-up, the IRS abuses, the war on the press, the violations of citizen privacy. What's next?"
He added, "I've tried to be a good team player. When the majority leader (Reid) told me to vote for the immigration bill, I held my nose and voted for it, knowing full well that immigrants could wind up replacing lower-skilled West Virginia workers."
Manchin said, "This is not the nation of our fathers. This is not my nation. This president's vision of America is something I don't recognize and can't support. It saddens me. And so I'm joining the loyal oppositi ."
Just then, my wife's right elbow caught my lower rib cage. "You're dreaming again."