We no longer have a two-party system. There is only one party - the Democratic Party. The other is a gang of bullies that has usurped the Republican Party's once-good name. It rules through intimidation. The list of victims includes not only Democrats like Max Cleland and Paul Wellstone, but Republicans as well. John McCain was accused by Bush's henchmen of fathering an illegitimate black child. Soon McCain was back in the fold. Senators Warner, McCain (him again; he sure gets uppity sometimes) and Graham banded together to point out that torture is not an American value. They were told by their party bosses to leave it alone, and they shut up. Senator Olympia Snow was threatened that she'd lose her state's naval base should she oppose any Bush Supreme Court nominee, even if she strongly disagreed with his beliefs. She fell in line like all good Republicans do.
This means that there really is no option on November 7. All Americans must vote Democratic if for no other reason than to create a climate that can help restore and support a two-party system. Our political system has always been based on debate and compromise between worthy opponents. But now there is no room for debate because there are no worthy opponents - only bullies who shout people down in Congress. We live in a climate of mockery and contempt, where debate is no longer possible.
Right now there is a no-party system: Whenever there is a law Bush doesn't like, he changes it or ignores it or makes a signing statement that he won't be bound by it. Whenever there is a policy that is questioned, politics of intimidation keep House and Senate members from forming committees to question that policy. Are they simply frightened? Are they not allowed to meet? There is no oversight on the blatant spending going on in Iraq, the massive giveaways to friends and cronies of this Administration.
Unscrupulous corporations have always known that the best way to insure unlimited growth and power is to take over the federal government - and that's what they have done. And who cares about the citizens of this country anyway - not the people who run our once-great nation. There are no Republicans who are free to espouse traditional Republican values, despite what they may say on the campaign trail.
Traditional Republican values of small government and fiscal responsibility have disappeared. Republicans who try to espouse them, if elected to serve in Washington, will soon find themselves intimidated and beaten up, the same way Democratic candidates like Ford and Webb are being attacked and mocked in Tennessee and Virginia. Principled Republicans will be cut out of the system and ignored - just like the CIA was ignored when it told Bush and Cheney that there were no WMDs in Iraq.
The reason President Bush is the perfect leader for the Republican Party is that no one is allowed to think, and he is its Non-thinker in Chief. Republican candidates also are not allowed to think, but are told simply to attack their opponents mercilessly. And because they can only attack they are not able to think about issues, about people. There will be no possibility of change even if well-meaning Republicans are elected. They must do as they are told or they will be mocked and destroyed by the likes of Rove and Mehlman. No Republican in the past six years - with the possible exception of Chuck Hagel - has stood up to intimidation for more than a few days.
So we are left with no other option. The Republican Party has become the party of idea - one. As a true believer in a two-party system, it is hard for me to say this, but it is time for everyone, regardless of political orientation, to vote Democratic. Turning the other cheek won't win elections. Be clear, stand up and fight back. Vote these contemptuous bullies out of power, and stop them from controlling our lives and the future of our nation.