I believe in a two-party system.
I understand the basic tenets of the Republican Party, or at least the Republican Party I knew in the Northeast, but I don't understand the direction it appears to be taking.
So when people like Roberta McCain, mother to the Senator, speaks out, or Maureen Dowd, writes scathing, but seemingly accurate pieces in the New York Times, I feel as if I am not alone in this confusion.
I don't know exactly when Republicans took this new slander-smearing approach, permitting people like Limbaugh to be spokesmen for its philosophy, or when former elected officials, like Vice President Cheney, got the green light to speak from the pulpit and smear a newly elected administration.
In fact, I'm not certain I can put a handle on politics at all--anymore, any day, by reading literally dozens of articles or hearing hundreds of sound-bits.
I do know that if I were still a member of the party, I would feel dirtied, disgusted and alienated.
I can only image how General Colin Powell must feel. Or how threatened Snowe (ME) and Collins (ME) might feel.
It's hard to imagine the Republican Party with no representation from the Middle or the Left.
I was saddened to the point of tears when Lincoln Chafee lost in Rhode Island, not because he was the best of the best but because he represented New England and North Atlantic Republican values.
It is a no wonder Senator Arlen Spector switched up.
But is switching up the way to move the party back to its normative values and philosophy? I doubt it.
Yet if the Republican Party representatives, at large, continue to play out this hand, we might see some strange bedfellows in politicians, more strange than we've experienced heretofore.