Rebutting proposals to eliminate the US Dept of Education:
It has been around long enough now that its outright elimination would be an extreme measure. Qualms with the way it functions are one thing; debates about its power and size are legitimate, even necessary. But what some of the Republican presidential candidates are doing is the equivalent of looking at a person who's having a really bad hair day and recommending decapitation.
While more thoughtful conservatives like Alexander have sketched out how things might work without an education department, these firebrands are engaged in theater, not real debate. They're after applause lines, not solutions.
And that's one of my chief gripes with the battle cry to banish the Department of Education. It's policy by sound bite. There's too much of that already.
There's the soft, cuddly Internal Revenue Service. Also the National Security Agency, America's Peeping Tom. And let's not forget the Environmental Protection Agency, seen by many manufacturers as one big, mossy, bossy paean to regulation run amok.