William Saletan and Avi Zenilman analyze Carol Mosely Braun’s platform, focusing on three issues. Perhaps not surprisingly, they are contradictory. She wants to federalize education, “Rediscover the Constitution,” and break down gender barriers.

There is no more local function imaginable than running schools. Federalizing them would be arguably the most radical undermining of our Federalist roots ever undertaken. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s directly contrary to her second goal. And this is just funny:

“To elect a woman as President of the United States [would] remove one of the last remaining barriers to participation in government by women. When that objective is achieved, our country will have reached the goal of our nation’s founding vision.”

Electing a woman president may indeed be a good thing, but it would be radically contrary to the founding vision! Goodness, women couldn’t even vote in federal elections until 1920.

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Adam Kalsey says:

    Federalizing schools would go directly against the 10th Amendment. I don’t know how you’d make a case that the Constitiution gives the Federal government the right to operate schools.

    It’s also a ridiculous idea. Schools are in trouble now largely because of the bureaucracy. Adding more layers of administration and red tape won’t fix a thing.

    There is almost nothing that you can point to in the US Government as a model of efficiency. (The Postal Service does okay, but they operate essentially as a private organization overseen by Congress.) It would be an unimaginable mistake to turn schools into federal institutions. The schools that do well are often those with less central control, not more.

    One reason for the success of private schools is that they make their own decisions. When confronted with a need, they solve it locally. The public school my kids go to runs with a large degree of autonomy. They even have a separate school calendar from the rest of the district. They also have significantly more educated children than other schools in this district. (My first grader’s class learned multiplication through 10s this past year.)