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Rick Horowitz

Rick Horowitz

Posted: January 7, 2010 04:33 PM

Suddenly, the Dems Don't Feel So Well

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[In a smallish office beneath a Capitol dome...]

"Thanks for seeing me on such short notice, Doc -- I know how busy you guys are."

"That's what we're here for, right?"

"I guess. Anyway, I really appreciate it."

"No problem. Now, what seems to be your problem?"

"Well, it -- this is just between us, OK?"

"Of course."

"It can't get out to the Republicans."

"Of course not."

"Sure -- confidentiality and all that. It's just that..."

"Yes?"

"Well, it came on kind of suddenly -- just the last couple of days, really. I mean, I've been feeling a little off for months now, like I'm running in molasses or something."

"Hard to make progress."

"Exactly. Every time I think I'm moving forward, I look up and I'm only half as far along as I thought I'd be."

"Must be frustrating."

"Completely frustrating! But then, like I said, these last couple of days, it's gotten even worse. Or different, maybe. I'm still feeling worn out, but there's also this...this..."

"Yes?"

"This burning feeling in my gut. Like a fear. Or even a panic."

"Yes?"

"Like I'm running out of time. That my biggest dreams won't ever come true."

"I see."

"Pretty crazy, huh?"

"Actually, we see this fairly often."

"You do?"

"Well, maybe not often, but every few years or so. It has all the signs of TMS."

"TMS?"

"Transient Majority Syndrome. There are enough of you who get together here to start thinking you can really shake things up. You think that from now on, everything will be different."

"Why not? That's why they elected us!"

"Of course. At least, that's what you start out believing. But then, before you even turn around, it starts disappearing on you. The numbers you thought you had, you don't have anymore. This one is squabbling with that one, and this one can't take a tough vote, and this other one goes back on his word, and -- "

"You nailed it, Doc."

"And suddenly everyone's running for the exits. At least that's how it feels. Now, lie back on the table now so I can -- "

"All the way back?"

"Feet up, nice and comfortable. There you go. I just want to see if -- well, there it is. I should have known."

"Known what? There what is?"

"Well, to begin with, you've got a perforated Dodd."

"Really?"

"And a detached Dorgan."

"I knew it! I knew it wasn't just in my head!"

"Actually, it's both -- physical impairments, and psycho-emotional consequences. It's like you're losing a limb. Or even two."

"And I can't -- this is the weirdest thing, Doc -- I can't remember how to count to 60 anymore!"

"Really."

"Honest to God! It used to be like snapping my fingers, and now I get to 54, 55, and I just..."

"Can't do it."

"Pretty weird, huh?"

"Pretty classic, actually. For TMS."

"But there's a cure, right? Something you can do to fix it?"

"I wouldn't say 'cure' -- these things usually have to run their course. But there are what we like to call 'helpful responses.'"

"For instance?"

"Well, there's no medical reason you need to cut back on your activities -- in the short term, at least. In fact, I'd urge you to be as active as you feel you can tolerate. While you still have the strength."

"You mean ... ?"

"It's likely to get more difficult, yes."

"And after that?"

"They're doing some remarkable things in the labs these days. You never know."

"But ... "

"It's a process. One step at a time. Of course, first they'll have to find a cure for COD -- we get plenty of that around here, too."

"COD?"

"Chronic Obstruction Disorder."

"Oh."

"But you didn't hear it from me."

# # #

Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.




 

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