Aristotle said that "man is by nature a political animal."

"Life in an unregulated state of nature," as Hobbes wrote, "is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

In my not-yet-famous taxonomy of the political animals roaming the United States, I sort the parties into two classes: The political reptiles, rending and tearing, cold-blooded and fierce, railing against regulation.

I place myself in that sub-species of political mammalia, the most pragmatic and openminded of donkeys, who see flaws in friends and strengths in foes, but still know, and enjoy knowing, who is the dark side of the force and who is the light.