Three Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives recently announced they would not seek re-election, which set off a debate between Republican and Democratic leaders.
Are the Republicans losing momentum?
But a variety of Democrats have also announced they will not run. Are Democrats losing momentum?
Who is losing momentum most quickly?
Good grief! Is this what we've been reduced to? With more than eight months before the November elections, and with all of the urgent problems we're facing, congressional leaders have time to debate which party's election prospects are sinking fastest?
Here's the answer:
A Washington Post-ABC News poll last week found that two-thirds of Americans are "dissatisfied" or "angry" about the way the federal government is working.
Or should we say, not working?
Asked how much of each dollar sent to Washington is wasted, the average respondent guessed 53 percent.
The tea-party movement is fueled by this anger.
A recent CBS-New York Times poll found Congress with a 15 percent approval rating. Tellingly, 50 percent of Americans want to abolish the filibuster in the U.S. Senate, while 44 percent disagreed.
That's unlikely to happen, but it does reflect that Americans are sick and tired of gridlock.
What angers us is the realization that we face so many serious problems and that out elected leaders seem so incapable of approaching those problems in a logical, constructive fashion.
Take health reform.
If you don't think we need to do something about health care, you've got your head in the sand. Last week, Anthem Blue Cross in California proposed a 40 percent rate hike for some lines.
The reason: So many relatively healthy people are dropping health care coverage because the cost is so high, leaving fewer and sicker people to pick up the tab.
As more and more people become uninsured, more and more of the expense for their care will shift to a smaller and smaller number of employees and employers who do have insurance.
Maybe the Obama plan was the wrong prescription. If so, Republicans need to stop posturing and work with Democrats to find solutions. Democrats, meanwhile, need to understand that they may only get half of what they want.
If there is no middle ground, we are all doomed. The current trend of increasing health care costs, along with the underfunding of Medicaid and Medicare, will eventually bankrupt this country.
And the reason for not cooperating can't be that another election is "only" eight months away.
Author Jonathan Rauch has invented an ungainly word for what he thinks is happening: "Demosclerosis," which he calls "The Silent Killer of American Government" in the title of his book.
Rauch posits that we have so many strong, entrenched special interests that our nation is now incapable of changing course and making logical decisions to ensure our survival.
His theory is looking more and more plausible by the day.