Getting dumped is always painful--especially for awkward, not-so-popular guys already stinging from a series of increasingly ugly, ego-stinging rejections.

So it doesn't much surprise me that, in the hours since Arlen's switcheroo, I've received fund-raising rants from both RNC chairman Michael Steele and NRCC executive director Guy Harrison that bear all the classic signs of a nasty break up: bitterness, anger, and a poignant who-needs-the-stupid-bitch-anyway? bravado reminiscent of the lost boys Lloyd Dobler unwisely consults with at the Gas N' Sip after Diane Court breaks his heart with a pen.

But while railing against The One Who Got Away may prove useful in rallying your best buds to hand over some beer money to help you forget/rebound (especially when paired with scary visions of how the Dems plan to take advantage of your break up), it also carries the real risk of alienating everyone else around you and marking you as a really bad romantic bet going forward. No one likes a sore loser--especially one who shows his ass the minute things turn bad and starts talking hard-core trash about his ex. 

Happily, there are plenty of web sites specifically geared to help people cope with the emotional trauma of getting dumped--and maybe even learn from their mistakes in order not to repeat them. The one I was checking out this morning, soyouvebeendumped.com, has a number of sections from which I think Steele et al could benefit, including, most pertinently, a discussion thread on "What Good Has Come From Your Break-up?" and "A Dumper's P.O.V.: It's Not Easy to Walk Away," the first installment in a series that is created to potentially demystify some of the thoughts in the mind of a dumper."    

I realize grieving is a process. So rage for a few days if you must, guys. But then you really need to move past the hurt and ask yourselves all the usual questions: Why didn't I see this coming? Where did the communication breakdown occur? Why oh why did I climb into bed with that unhinged talk radio guy who smokes those crappy cigars and treats me like garbage?

Because if there's one thing that Arlen made pretty clear on his way out the door: It's not him. It's you.

--Michelle Cottle