The star-crossed lover of our romance is the president of the United States, Barack Obama, a tall, dignified, well-meaning fellow who has a way with words. He also has a good job, although many days he has reason not to think so.
Well-informed readers will raise the objection that he is already married and that his wife is a formidable woman who is unlikely to take any guff. This is true. But young Mr. Obama is thinking of a political romance - not the saucy kind that another prominent Democrat, John Edwards, lately became hot and bothered over.
Like many would-be lovers, the president is seriously deluded. The object of his affection is that shrinking group of wallflowers, the Republicans. If he were to succeed in wooing them, it would be the greatest miracle in the annals of courtship.
Immediately, the title of a film comes to mind: "Romancing the Stone." Yes, a group colder to his desires could hardly be imagined. And if Obama could release cupids over their caucuses, the Republicans would not be pierced by the arrows of love, but instead would reel in shock at the indecent nakedness of the flying cherubs, suspecting that the National Endowment of the Arts was up to its old tricks.
Not a cuddly bunch. If you gave them candy or flowers, they would wonder if illegal immigrants were involved in their production. If they have any romantic feelings, they are limited to writing sonnets to tax cuts. They say "No" in their sleep.
Not that members of the president's own party are any more reliable in their ardor. You have heard of the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight? This is the Gang That Couldn't Vote Straight.
Inept in everything except pulling defeat from the jaws of victory, the Democrats have all the attractiveness of spotty nerds dreaming of dates in junior high while being picked on by proto-Republicans on the football team.
The president has tried to talk some sense into his fellow Democrats, who need to remember that they have been sent to Washington to do something and not just flirt with lobbyists while posing as populists.
With both sour and sulky parties, Democrats and Republicans, Obama would be better advised to send his wife over to sort them out. After all, many members of Congress are also husbands, and the sight of a determined spouse bearing down with a grievance is bound to cause reflexive panic, even if it is not their spouse.
But that is not this president's way. He will play the lovesick suitor. Why, he has already invited the Republicans on a date.
This follows his recent social call to House Republicans at a meeting in Baltimore. Everybody was on best behavior. Afterward, as with any social gathering, insincere words were likely exchanged: "Oh, that was fun! We should do that again! Give us a call some time!"
Darned if he didn't take them up on it. We can only imagine the consternation in Republican ranks when Obama extended the invitation for a date in an interview with Katie Couric on CBS. "What the heck is wrong with that guy? Can't he recognize insincerity when he meets it?"
To be sure, it sounds like a pretty dreadful date to be invited on - a summit on health care to be televised live in Washington on Feb. 25. It would be better if this were another beer summit, because while marriages are made in heaven, they are oftentimes facilitated by breweries on Earth.
How nice it is to think that hearts might become flushed with love at the prospect of this date, that squadrons of bluebirds might fly over the Potomac, that flattered Republicans might become coquettish, pulling off daisy petals in the Capitol - he loves us, he loves us not! - while asking each other whether they should wear the blue blazer with the red tie or the red blazer with the blue tie. But that would be too much even for a Valentine's Day love story.
Alas, this is a story of unrequited love, or perhaps unremitting animosity.
In the days of our lives, the Republicans are never going to think of Mr. Obama as Mr. Right. He is always going to be Mr. Left to them. And, unfortunately, we are the ones who will suffer if suspicion, not love, carries the day.
Reg Henry is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.