Thursday, June 17, 2010

What mainstream?

The Tea Party idea is that the federal government has gotten too big and too intrusive. I suppose we shall see in November how widespread this view is. When commentators bemoan the divides in American politics and invoke a mythical "mainstream" view, I suspect that they see themselves as squarely in the reasonable middle.

In yesterday's WSJ, Alan Blinder dismissed the "diehards" who are not on board with the idea that FDR's New Deal ended the Great Depression. But I learned back in high school that prosperity came after WW II ended and government spending (as well as conscription) was scaled down. I think that Bob Higgs has some things to say about this.

In today's NY Times (not The Onion) there is an unbelievable piece about school authorities wanting to end the practice of young kids having best friends. Where to start? Is this their mission or their core competency? How many parents send kids to school for this kind of "help"? Is this dumb idea really from some Tea Party plant in the educational establishment? Will we soon hear that advocates of best-friend interventions are actually part of the "mainstream"?

Talk about growing divisions in American politics.