Our system of government works best when it is balanced between roughly equal political parties, one on the center-right and the other on the center-left.
Unfortunately, what we have is a centrist Democratic Party and a far-right Republican Party.Wrong.
There is no such thing as a one-dimensional political spectrum. And the kleptocratic system has not worked well for over half a century, especially via those Bartlett considers center-left and center-right. One increased problem now is that the terrible decisions made decades ago are causing increasingly worse consequences now than in the past, for example, the 1965 immigration law.
And how can the Tea Party be both "f*r right" and "[not] easily characterized as either right or left in terms of policy?"
The Tea Party resulted from astroturfing by the same Republican establishment that Bartlett often praises.
The Democratic Party will nominate Hillary Clinton, a third way neoconservative, for the presidency. What does Clinton politically have in common with Ferdinand Pecora? Not much. How does Clinton qualify as whatever a "centrist" is?
Mark Thoma and other third way economists act as if Reagan fan Bartlett is a superb guy. Democratic economists seem to prefer Bartlett over heterodox independent economists. In some minds, being a slight Republican heretic makes you more worthy of attention than those who were right far more often.
By my count Bartlett's argument contains at least 25 logical fallacies, often abusive ad hominem attacks.
Many years ago Bartlett wrote an article about a technical issue in economics that I've since forgotten, which I can no longer find. But I remembered what Bartlett did. Bartlett appeared to thoroughly present two sides of the issue, as if he were being the most even handed man in the world. Yet, on this issue, there was one counter premise that would have demolished Bartlett's conclusion. Bartlett almost certainly could not have known all those other counter premises without knowing the main counter premise. But Bartlett left that main counter premise out.
What sort of man does that? Bruce Bartlett. That's who.