It is common for presidents to suffer setbacks in Congress midway through their terms, as voters react against their policies by voting out lawmakers of the same political party. But something more is happening this year. If President Barack Obama is not fully cognizant of the rebellion under way now, his own re-election is in doubt.
Several Democrats who are incumbents in Congress already have lost bids for re-election, in primaries held throughout the country. One of them was U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., soundly defeated by Democrat challenger and state Sen. Michael Oliverio.
But a grassroots rebellion against Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is going beyond the ballot box. In several states, legislatures are either demanding action from Washington - or rebelling against laws enacted by Congress at Obama's bidding.
Arizona has been a leader in the rebellion, of course. There, a law cracking down on illegal immigration was passed because Obama and his fellow liberals have not taken action on the matter. Obama's reaction was to file a lawsuit to overturn the Arizona statute. A federal judge recently agreed with the U.S. Justice Department.
Other states are rebelling on other issues. Missouri voters last week overwhelmingly approved a referendum to block implementation of the new federal health care law. Officials in Virginia last week won the first round of their lawsuit against the health care law. Officials in other states have filed or are considering such lawsuits.
Then there are the "Tea Party" protesters - whose concerns about government spending are not being rejected by most Americans, as liberals had hoped.
Make no mistake about it: A rebellion is in progress. If Obama ignores it, he does so at his political peril.