Via the Standard, which notes the narrator’s explanation for his nerves of steel: “I was a Marine, and I love Jesus!” Nearly two dozen people in North Carolina and more than 40 total across six states were killed in the storms over the weekend, with untold numbers of others like our hero here having barely survived close encounters. Quote:

Lowe’s store manager Michael Hollowell had heard the tornado warnings, but his first clue that the danger was outside his front door came when he saw his staff running toward the back of the home improvement store.

More than 100 employees and customers screamed in near unison when the steel roof curled off overhead Saturday. The store was becoming part of the wreckage left by a ferocious storm system bristling with killer twisters that ripped through the South.

“You could hear all the steel ripping. People screaming in fear for their lives,” Hollowell told The Associated Press.

I’m tempted to turn this into a “Metaphor of the Day” post in honor of this morning’s fiscal tornado sighting, but the analogy doesn’t quite work. For one thing, the narrator here isn’t so stupid as to drive towards the twister, as Cool Hand Luke in the White House is busy doing. And for another, our longstanding national paralysis isn’t due to fortitude in the teeth of an uncontrollable situation but to the fact that American voters loooove entitlements and loooove lower taxes and simply aren’t willing to accept that those two preferences are irreconcilable in the long term. For all the venom we spit at America’s political class, they’ve taken a perfectly rational (i.e. self-interested) approach in following the perfectly irrational policy choices of the public on deficit spending. Which is why, as much as I enjoy Ace’s posts on how the GOP can win the messaging war on the debt battle, I think they’re an exercise in futility. It might help at the margins, but no one in Congress is under any illusions: In all likelihood, their thanks for striking a “grand bargain” that significantly reforms entitlements and puts the country back on track to sustainability will be an electoral bloodletting. Which is to say, to avoid a fiscal tornado, they’ll have to drive into a political one. Leadership.