I was reading an interview with fantasy and science fiction writer L. E. Modesitt, Jr. and came across a marvelously chilling passage about what he learned from his 17 years working in the belly of the beast that is Washington, DC:
. . . the way Washington works is not the way people really want to think of Washington working. For example, you see movies like No Way Out, you see all these Washington films—people are dying all over the place. In the whole time I worked in Washington, I don't know of a single death that was caused by somebody else. Washington doesn't work that way. Washington is too cruel to kill anybody outright. Now, the number of suicides—that's another question.
"Washington will take away your livelihood. I know people who cannot do what they once did because of Washington. They will alienate your family and your friends; they will destroy your life, and they will destroy your family, but they won't kill you. They leave that up to you.
During his time in DC, he was the Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the EPA, and also a staff director for a US Congressman.
The discussion was in the context of his novel The Green Progression, Modesitt's only commercial failure. I read it (maybe 10 years ago?) and thought it was a pretty good book.
(PS: If you hadn't guessed by now, we're working on anthology story notes here in Pleasantville.)