Christopher Swope was GOVERNING's executive editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
So much for the conservative crusade against the nanny state.
Check out this quote from NYC, where the health issue du jour is baseball bats. The city council wants to ban metal bats from scholastic baseball -- wood bats are thought to be safer. Leading the charge for this new government regulation is Republican councilman James Oddo, who explains:
"I will not step back and say that this is not an issue for government....I'm a conservative Republican, but this is an example where the government is the only entity out there. My hope is now this is a green light for other organizations and leagues of all ages to follow suit."
With apologies to Sir Mix-A-Lot, I cannot lie: that's a big but! Regulation bad...but, oh come on, just this once! You might think that the King of the Nannies, Mayor Mike "Smoking Ban" Bloomberg would be right on board with this. Nope. He vetoed the metal bat ban, saying he didn't think this was something government should weigh in on.
I won't complain too much about Oddo's philosophical turn--or Bloomberg's, for that matter. I'll always prefer pragmatic politicians, those willing to assess each issue on its merits, to inflexible ideologues. Maybe Oddo's problem is declaring himself to be something at all.
I'm surprised this issue hasn't come up sooner. We always used metal bats back when I played in Little League, and the zingers that would jump off those bats could be pretty fierce. I'll never shake the memory from 6th grade, when a kid on my team nailed a line drive right off the pitcher's nose. By the time the ambulance took the poor kid away, the dads had to go out and dump more dirt on the pitcher's mound, just to cover up the blood. Ick.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.