Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Food for thought

What do people think about this? Here’s a sample:

President Bush’s second-term agenda would expand not only the size of the federal government but also its influence over the lives of millions of Americans by imposing new national restrictions on high schools, court cases and marriages.

In a clear break from Republican campaigns of the 1990s to downsize government and devolve power to the states, Bush is fostering what amounts to an era of new federalism in which the national government shapes, not shrinks, programs and institutions to comport with various conservative ideals, according to Republicans inside and outside the White House.

A brief observation (dental work today, so I’ll be "remarkably passive"): some of what the Post is describing is principled conservative push-back against liberal activists (e.g., the gay marriage amendment); some of it is a variation on the theme of federally-driven devolution and "privatization" (e.g., the faith-based initiative); I’m prepared to defend this stuff. I’m less prepared to defend "No Adolescent Left Behind" because I was never really keen on "No Child Left Behind" as the solution to our education problems. I’d prefer school choice (yes, vouchers), but teachers’ union resistance makes that extremely hard to sell. So politicians are driven to ham-handed accountability measures like No Child Left Behind, to which many schools respond by "teaching to the test," which is the easy way out.

O.K., I’m going to go turn on the television and stare at it until the pain pills start working.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Joe, Hope you’re feeling better. Was anything good on tv last night? (I was being virtuous: teaching a con law class.) Paul

The West Wing raised the issue of the portability of the U.S. constitutional model to emerging democracies, not to mention the question of the relationship between leadership, political culture, and pieces of parchment. This interwoven with a storyline regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The drugs kicked in and I got a little work done as well.

Hey Joe,

Glad you got some work done. You shouldn’t take drugs, though. Drugs are for losers. I watched Rambo on DVD last night, and then I cried myself to sleep.

-Toby

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