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Friday, January 21, 2005


Just a Jump to the Left

The CO says:
On social issues, [the Republican Party] has steadily drifted further and further right.
No it hasn't. The Republican Party is more liberal than it's ever been. True conservatives, which used to make up the bulk of the Republican Party, were crying for the dismantling of the Department of Education twenty years ago. Now it's not even considered, and "No Child Left Behind" is a centerpiece of the Bush presidency.

Look ahead to '08: The leading presidential possibilities for the Republican Party-- Giuliani, Rice, and Schwarzenegger (assuming the little matter of the Constitution is addressed)--are all pro-aborts. That's a drift to the right?

The Democratic Party's wild tilt to the radical left fringe beginning in the late '60s has allowed the Republicans move left with them to occupy the deserted middle. Without any real conservative running, though, religious conservatives like me have little choice. It comes down to a big government, pro-interventionist, pro-abort or a big government, pro-interventionist, pro-lifer.

The biggest difference between the parties is in the area of religious faith. Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News wrote a fascinating piece on this trend:
Survey data from the 1992 national conventions show how thoroughly polarized the parties had by that time become around religious orientation. Only 20 percent of white Democratic delegates ... went to religious services at least once a month, while over three times that number of white Republican delegates did.
Until that trend changes, which will require some major changes in the Democratic Party platform, the Democrats are going to find it increasingly difficult to put a candidate in the White House.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are free to continue aggravating true conservatives, behaving like Roosevelt Democrats and spending us into eternal debt service.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Home Schooling - The CO's findings

Home Schooling
Roughly two percent of American children are home schooled. Or about 1.1 million children. This figure actually surprised me with all the attention given to it; I fully expected the number to be closer be up over 5% and edging in on ten. That said, nearly one million children in absolute terms is still a lot.

According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, there are four basic levels of state oversight and regulation in regards to home schooling:
“State with high regulation: State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements (e.g. curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials).” Some of the states in this group include MA, UT, ME, WA, WV.
“States with moderate regulation: State requires parents to send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress.” Some of the states in this group include FL, GA, HI, SD, CO, NH
“States with low regulation: State requires parental notification only.” Some of the states in this group include MT, CA, MS, NV, WY, and KS.
“States requiring no notice: No state requirement for parents to initiate any contact.” TX, CT, OK, MO, ID, NJ.

Requiring no notice to me seems like a recipe for child abuse. True, it does allow the parent the most freedom, and maybe it is just a product of my up bringing that I automatically suspect poor parenting when parents behave in erratic ways. On the flip side, getting a child out of a school where there is staff abuse, or peer violence is a good thing. According to every study, I have heard of, home schooled children regardless of race, family income, or geography scored higher on the same standardized testing as public school children. Moreover, the longer a child was home schooled, the better they did.

Academically, although the results are still scanty I think that home schools may just be the best choice. It remains to be seen how well home schooled children are equipped in a social manner. I’m not aware of any study that tracks crime, pregnancy, or other indicators based on home, private, public and charter school education.

Please not that at this time of the day, my ability to edit at all complely evaporates.


Quick Response To The CO

Just a quick note on the CO's post.

You bring up the fact that Bush has not vetoed a single spending bill, and that he is the first President in a very long time to do so. I don't think this is necessarily indicative of the Republican Party coming apart. Consider the opposite situation: The Republican Party controls the House, Senate and Presidency and Bush vetoed 50% of the spending bills (or if you don't like 50%, pick a number). I my mind that would indicate that the Party was fractured because the President would be unable to work with his own party.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that 0% is a good rate of vetoing, but only that I don't think it's as big a deal as some want to make it.

As for social issues, I don't think that the Republican Party has drifted uniformly to the Right. Evidence: immigration, education (which Ted Kennedy had a large (ham handed) role in writing) and medicare. These are huge issues that Bush is being way more liberal on than I would like (as a cold-hearted Conservative, of course =)). While I suppose these issues could be used as evidence that the Republican Party is fracturing, there is some amount of disagreement that is necessary for a health Party.

Anyway, just some quick thoughts.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Reply to Derek wk 3 spinoff

Derek aired this:

Think carefully about this one. You can't deny the Democratic Party is not what it was 40 years ago. Since 1972, the party has actively driven away voters who lean conservative. That's why the South has gone Republican.

I think what we are really seeing is the Republican Party pulling itself apart. On social issues, it has steadily drifted further and further right. In its current incarnation with Dubya as the party figurehead, it has crested breaker after breaker deeper into the Sea of Financial Woe. Yes, any war is going to build a debt, but Bush is almost certainly the only holder of the Oval Office in at least a century not to have vetoed a single spending bill. The GOP is not the party it was even 20 years ago. The elder Bush was a conservative; Dubya is a Neo-Con. Care to guess which one I respect more?


Casual Responses

The CO opines:
Derek (not quite in order)
The Democrats--well, they're lost. The Republican drift to the left has pushed Democrats somewhere to the far side of George McGovern.
Oh Boy is that one for another day...
Think carefully about this one. You can't deny the Democratic Party is not what it was 40 years ago. Since 1972, the party has actively driven away voters who lean conservative. That's why the South has gone Republican.

At the same time, the Republican Party has gone from opposing big government and foreign entanglements to welcoming them with open arms. The party today looks like the Democratic Party of FDR.
I’m not a huge fan of government sponsored education, however, it does have a much better chance of getting people all on the same playing field than each city block having its own privately run school.
I'm not arguing for doing away with public education. But local control is key. No organization, corporate or political, is more efficient when it's centrally controlled.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Week Five!

We're going to keep the education ball rolling.