Second, that the president is solely responsible for whatever success the GOP is enjoying in the real universe, because, in the parallel one, they’re running some kind of bizarre (and hilarious!) kamikaze administration without his help.

You aren’t looking at the big picture,” the angel replies. “Think of all the dreams you have realized for those unfortunate Republicans. All the chances you’ve given them that they never would have had on their own. Why, without you, John Boehner would be a contestant on the Celebrity Apprentice by now.”

“You’re right,” a smiling Obama replies. “My presidency is helping some people.”

“Yes, it is. Because of you, every time a bell rings another Republican is effortlessly winning political office, whether he deserves it or not.”

Imagine: an alternative universe in which this piece was never written.

We will be watching this space as more report cards are handed in.

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.