I was not surprised at the announcement that Dennis Moore, retired Kansas third district congressman, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. I am not gloating here, as Alzheimer's is no fun, a stealer of life. Dementia is like death while still living--it is a horrible thing.
But I remember thinking during the healthcare summer of 2009 that some of the statements and actions of Rep. Moore were a little odd. And his reluctance to be out in public. And his wife running for him in 2010. There was a point in time where there was a vague reference to some "threats" against him, which had an odd tone to them. He never did an unscripted appearance during that debate, even in venues usually unthreatening. It all seemed odd. When his wife decided to run my thoughts went this way: Moore still wants to play, but he can't play fully. He can work behind the scenes in controlled areas as consultant and provide experience; his wife, fully capable, can do the "up front" work that requires thinking on the fly and a strong working short term memory as well as emotional control. I kept looking at all these things clinically, and wondering, is Dennis Moore struggling with dementia?
So I wasn't surprised by the announcement. Saddened for him and his family. Dismayed. But not surprised.
Above: Photo of Dennis Moore during his recent meeting with the press, from the Kansas City Star.