Let's start with a few points about the harm that political parties inflict on our government.
1. It should be a basic foundation of a representative democracy such as ours that the voters of a given district have the right to elect whoever they wish.
If it were not for Connecticut's unique statutes that allowed Joe Lieberman to run as an independent candidate in the general election after having lost the Democratic primary, though, the people of that state would have been denied the right to elect the candidate of their choice. Lieberman played by the rules and ran against Lamont and lost in the primary. Then, those who support party (I call them partycrats) told Joe to sit out the general election because it was the "honorable" thing to do.
But what about the people of Connecticut? They, not JUST the Democrats in that state, should determine who their senator is to be, right?
The party primary system is the most UN-democratic feature of our current government function.
There are many other examples ... in other states that don't provide the flexibility Joe had. For instance, Dick Riordan should have been elected governor of California four years ago. In all polling, he was by far the favored candidate among ALL Californians. But he was too moderate for the far-right conservatives who typically vote in Republican primaries, and he lost to Bill Simon. Simon, who of course was way too right-wing for the California electorate, lost easily to the "pay-to-play" corrupt Gray Davis ... and in less than a year, the people of the state recalled him and put in Schwarzenegger. Why couldn't the people have the moderate Republican they wanted in the first place?
2. Much of what passes as legislative effort in Congress is positioning for the next election ... either for discrediting members of the opposite party or improving the chances of members of one's own party. This is true on every issue, including war and peace. This is an abomination, not to mention a huge waste of time and loads of YOUR tax money.
More to come ...