The Republicans’ hysterical reaction to passage of health care reform is bound to shrink the party’s numbers even further. A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 21 percent of Americans identified themselves as Republican. Who thinks for a second their dwindling numbers will be helped by threats to repeal health care protections?

Who will want to go back to spaghetti fundraisers to stave off medical bankruptcies?

Who will want to forgo the elimination of $1.2 trillion off the nation’s deficit (independent Congressional Budget Office).

Who will want to return to small businesses being crushed by health care costs?

Who wants to go back to veterans unprotected unless their health issue is service-related?

Who wants to go back to insured only if you are healthy?

I’d be surprised if it were as high as 21 percent.

We have effectively lost our two-party system. The party of “no” contributes nothing to national problem-solving. Having a loyal opposition is fundamental to our system of government.

If Rep. Ron Paul, winner of the CPAC straw poll, can’t pick up the reins and do something constructive with the Republican Party, it is time America formed a new party to return to a two-party system.

Tom Bulger, Avon