Winter, politics causing SAD state

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, February 10, 2009

There’s a reason I’ve been feeling down: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

According to, this woeful malady is triggered by the overcast winter weather. As it goes, a lack of exposure to sunlight can cause higher levels of melatonin and lower levels of serotonin. That can cause depression-like symptoms.

Grogginess is a common one. And, boy, since Democrats took over the White House, House and Senate, have I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning.

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Their pork-packed “stimulus” bill has kept me fuzzier than ever. It became immediately clear that many Democrats care less about solving our economic crisis than they do exploiting it to spend billions on pet projects that have little to do with jump-starting the economy.

It’s also clear that Obama is already having trouble reining in Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the left flank of his party.

The more I think about it, the more I pull the covers over my head, which is surely a result of my SAD disorder — a disorder that is causing me to suffer other common symptoms, such as a craving for carbohydrates.

Obama promised us change. He promised the most ethical administration in history. He promised not to hire lobbyists.

But already he’s appointed 17 lobbyists. And, one by one, his Cabinet picks are turning out not to be terribly ethical. They’ve exploited their political connections to make huge dough. They skipped paying their taxes in a manner that would send the rest of us to the klink.

If Obama’s team is doing such a horrible job vetting its nominees, I worry, where else are his people screwing up? National security? And what if nobody pays the electric bill and the White House lights are shut off?

The more I worry about it, the more I crave linguini with olive oil and garlic and a fat loaf of Italian bread smattered in butter. My craving is surely a result of my SAD disorder — a disorder that’s causing me to suffer another SAD symptom: irritability.

I surely hope Obama succeeds — or, to be more precise, I hope he implements the right ideas and policies so that my country will succeed, but I worry. I don’t like his idea of making government “cool again” when what we need is to make government small again.

His eagerness to push through the pork-packed stimulus bill — his use of words such as “catastrophe” and “disastrous” to frighten us into supporting it — shows me he’s headed in the wrong direction.

A president should lead us toward a solution — bring out the best in us to confront and resolve our problems — not tell us how much worse things will be if a bunch of hack politicians don’t loot the government treasury to pay off their pals.

The more I worry about it, the more irritable I get. No wonder I snapped at the drive-through-window kid because he didn’t scrape the onions off my burger. My irritability is surely brought on by my SAD malady — a malady that is causing me to suffer other painful symptoms, such as interpersonal difficulties and sensitivity to rejection.

Sure, I’m worried about the coming days and weeks. Just as our country needs to unify most — just as we need sensible government programs that unleash the ingenuity and productivity of the American people rather than dampen them — I fear we’re going in the opposite direction.

If this stimulus bill goes through, largely unchanged, I fear Democrats will be just getting warmed up — that they’ll soon pass into law other wrongheaded, giant-government programs that could take us years to correct.

Thinking about our future has left me so insecure, my interpersonal relationships are suffering. I smiled at my friend’s baby and the kid cried. I reached out to pet my dog and he bit me. So sensitive was I to these rejections, I gorged on pasta, snapped at family members and slept for days.

I’m relieved to discover that my symptoms are a result of Seasonal Affective Disorder. The dreary winter weather is the source of my woes.

Boy, could I use a long, sunny day about now.

Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated. Visit him on the web at or e-mail him at