Dear Dr. Politics: I have a wonderful job in an important American institution, with lots of influence and a great big office. (I even get a gavel!) I'm surrounded every day by more than 200 -- actually, more than 218, but who's counting? -- very supportive colleagues who help me accomplish great things for the American people.
Lately, though, I feel that my influential position might be slipping away from me. The polls get uglier every week, and my opponents keep looking at me like I'm a dead woman walking. There's even been a man with orange skin stopping by to measure the drapes in my office. Is there anything I can do to stem the tide?
Dear Nervous: How about those miners? Wasn't that the most amazing thing you've ever seen?
Dear Dr. Politics: I'm angry. It's OK to be angry. In New York, there's a lot to be angry about, so why shouldn't I be angry? I'm mad as hell, to tell you the truth. I say what's on my mind. If I offended anybody, I apologize.
So here's my question: Why am I losing by 20 points?
Dear Cranky: They got all 33 of them out alive! Absolutely unbelievable!!
Dear Dr. Politics: I never dreamed I'd be writing to you for advice, but here goes: I've got a dingbat on my trail, and I just can't shake her!
It's bad enough having a title like "Majority Leader" when being in the majority isn't enough to actually do things. But now I'm not even sure I can hang onto my own seat. I'm running against someone who doesn't know anything about anything, and I still can't pull away from her! Doesn't experience count for anything anymore?
Dear Harried: The part where the capsule came down through the ceiling the first time? I just about wet my pants!
Dear Dr. Politics: I'm not a witch. I'm you. So why do people keep insisting I talk about evolution and stuff? Do you have to talk about evolution and stuff?
Daffy in Delaware
Dear Daffy: What about that guy with his wife and his mistress fighting over him, and which one would get to be there when he came out? Dude would've been better off staying underground!
Dear Dr. Politics: I'm going through a pretty frustrating time right now. I won my current job on a great national wave of hope and optimism. People expected great things from me, and so did I. But now it's only two years later, and people seem to have lost faith in me, and in my ability to change things here in Washington. They used to talk about me being another Lincoln -- now they're talking about me being another Jimmy Carter.
I'm sure I bear some of the responsibility myself. I make some comments I shouldn't make, and then there are other times when I don't talk enough, where I stay quiet instead of telling people about all the progress we're making to improve their lives.
The hardest part has been realizing that there are certain people out there who want me to fail, and will do everything in their power to make that happen. Was I naïve? Have I tried to do too much? And isn't there some way I can turn things around again before it's too late?
Dear Barack: I'm sorry -- were you saying something? I had the TV on.
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Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.