If you’re a political obsessive like me then you’re weird.
Most people don’t follow politics that closely. There are exceptions, of course, and some of them don’t even have the excuse that they do it for a living.
Obsessing over who “won” Prime Ministers Questions each week, or studying amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19, is an odd way to behave.
But while it’s unusual to be quite so interested in politics, it’s also great fun if you’re one of the oddballs who enjoy it.
As a Westminster-based journalist, I get paid too. It’s a real privilege.
But lately, something’s happened. I don’t expect any sympathy, but I wonder if anyone else feels the same way.
Politics has got kind of depressing.
For a start, Brexit has bought out the worst in our politicians.
As I’ve written elsewhere, there are MPs who don’t want Brexit to happen. Who believe it will be a disaster.
And fair enough, you might say that they should keep their mouth shut and respect the referendum result.
But the result is a House of Commons where people are engaged in a form of play-acting, and not really speaking up for their constituents as they think best - which is their job.
Perhaps we shouldn’t blame them. Just look at the response Brexit rebels get.
They’re condemned as traitors or mutineers. Conservative Anna Soubry says she’s reported a string of threatening tweets to the police, telling the House of Commons that it followed a newspaper article attacking her.
The Government’s approach to Brexit seems chaotic at best. And no wonder. We have a zombie government led by a Prime Minister without a future.
Theresa May has gone from hero to zero in the eyes of the media, and both verdicts may have been over the top.
But while I think she deserves a bit more credit than she gets, we know she won’t lead the Tories into the next general election.
At the same time, there’s no obvious candidate to replace her and no sign of a leadership contest.
Meanwhile, the majority of Labour MPs are stuck with a leader they don’t support either. But they can’t do anything about it, because every time they’ve tried in the past it’s just strengthened his position.
This isn’t exciting to watch. It’s just disturbing. It’s like watching people being slowly tortured, and it won’t be over for a while.
That’s just part of it.
Another thing that gets me down is what seems to be a growing acceptance of racism in political life.
For example, it’s revealed that Labour MP Emma Dent Coad described a black politician as “ghetto boy” before she became an MP, and no action is taken.
Her party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, instead issued a mealy-mouthed response, saying: “I will obviously ensure people discuss the use of language with people.”
There have been incidents of politicians making offensive or racist comments in the past, of course. But it was usually treated as a real problem. Party leaders would withdraw the whip (ie suspend the MP from the party) or at least explicitly condemn what happened.
But what’s depressing isn’t just Mr Corbyn’s response. It’s the reaction of people on Twitter and elsewhere who rushed to make excuses.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I guess I’ve always assumed that ordinary people get involved with politics with good intentions. On both the right and the left.
But some Labour supporters - a distinct minority I’m sure, and all that - have got into a position where they’re saying it’s okay for a white person to call a black man “ghetto boy”. Is why they joined the Labour Party?
Ms Coad’s case isn’t unique.
In Bradford, there’s a Labour activist who once claimed that “Jews have reaped the rewards of playing victims” and complained that teachers “are the first to start brainwashing us and our children into thinking the bad guy was Hitler.”
But the party shortlisted her to become a council candidate.
I’m not suggesting anyone who writes something hateful on Facebook or in a blog should be shunned for the rest of their lives.
But they shouldn’t be put forward as candidates by a major political party either. Something has gone wrong.
I’ve made myself one promise.
I won’t stay off Twitter, but I’m going to avoid making any angry or negative Tweets.
It’s a new, positive attitude from me. Let’s see if that helps.