EDITOR: I was born and raised in California. I volunteered for service in the Army, represented our country in Germany and spent more than 14 months in Vietnam. I vote and pay my taxes. So why is it that whenever certain Republican leaders and tea party extremists mention "the American People," I get the feeling that they're not actually including, uh, me?

When a majority of voters choose a majority in the House and Senate, and a majority of them create or change laws, that's called democracy. When a few of them then refuse to fund or cooperate with what a majority have already chosen, that's no longer allowing the voters to choose, which doesn't sound very democratic or patriotic to me. That's just forcing your own view on others, when you don't actually have the numbers to create laws.

Maybe the tea party wing of Republicans should start a new political party with its own slogans. Something like: the American People's Party — "Because we're more important than a functioning government" or, "We'll take the U out of USA."