Certainly when political parties start to impede government functions, then they've become too powerful. There's no legitimate justification for Nixon wiretapping kind of stuff. On the other hand, I think there's a lot they can do that is beneficial to a democratic system. When an average person can understand issues in terms of a simplified left-right spectrum, then that helps the person makes more informed decisions in the voting booth. Certainly not everything or everyone falls on this spectrum. But that's something for the political analysts to discuss; for the much larger voting population that doesn't pay all that much attention to politics, it helps them understand something that would otherwise be largely incomprehensible.