Emily, who sends me emails when she gets upset over something I write (which is often) didn’t care much for Monday’s column calling President Bush and those who follow him idiots.

“You have to be the most arrogant, self-centered, smug, overbearing bastard on the Internet,” she wrote.

Sorry Emily but you’re wrong. My parents were married when I was born. But four out of five ain’t bad.

To paraphrase a favorite of right-wing extremists, the late Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, arrogance in defense of liberty is no vice.

At least Emily signs her name. Most of the riff-raff that send messages over the electronic transom of this web site hide behind anonymous “handles” or use questionable names like “A True American.” Probably best that they hide their identities, given the high number of grammatical errors and misspellings that appear in most of the missives. Guess the ability to string together words into a simple declarative sentence wasn’t taught at their school.

I’m not surprised when the unwashed masses get bent out of shape every time I dare suggest that George W. Bush is not the saint they genuflect to on a daily basis. Ignorance loves company and only the truly ignorant can think Bush is anything more than proof that a functioning brain is not a requirement to be President of the United States.

But if you apply the laws of cause and effect, Bush is the perfect idiot to lead a legion of idiots. A new poll released Monday shows a majority of Americans now believe Bush knowingly lied to the American people, Congress and the world to justify his illegal invasion of Iraq. Even more believe he has mishandled the war. Yet a dysfunctional minority continues to sing his praises and embrace the outdated notion that America has the right to wage war on whomever it pleases whenever it wants.

Had Bush not been a coward who sat out the Vietnam War in the stateside safety of the Texas Air Guard he might have learned something from our mistakes there. But Dubya is a cardboard cowboy, a prehistoric throwback who’s all swagger and no substance. He leads an equally substance-starved party that feels the Constitution is expendable if it gets in the way of an extremist right-wing agenda.

No wonder rational Americans are turning away from Bush and the GOP in droves. Even some rational members of the party of the elephant have begun to question the antics of their President and realize this fool is leading them into a political abyss.

Democrats, of course, claim they knew this all along and say things would be so much better if one of their own lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and they controlled Congress.

That’s a crock. Democrats, like Republicans, put the interests of their party above that of the nation. The name of the game is power and control and those who subscribe to the holy grail of politics don’t give a damn about the people they have sworn to serve.

John Kerry and most of his fellow Democrats in Congress voted to support Bush’s dirty little war in Iraq. They now claim they were misled but – as elected officials – they should have demanded more proof before giving someone like Bush a license to kill.

The spreading cancer that threatens to destroy this country cannot be stopped by replacing one band of political crooks with another. Partisans who blindly follow their leaders and party dogma are the problem. They give us flawed leaders like George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The answer lies not in replacing one scoundrel with another. The system is flawed, corrupt and beyond redemption. It must be changed and that change can come only from radical, revolutionary action,

Sadly, a nation divided by bitter, partisan debate cannot correct itself. Until we learn to be Americans first and forget about the pettiness of political philosophies we can not – and will not – change.