One of my favorite Congressional loons is at it again. This time, dear Rep. Bachmann (R-MN) recently caused a firestorm by announcing that she has no plans to participate in the 2010 Census outside of answering the general household questions. The reasons? One, she somehow juxtaposed data collection to be done in the 2010 census to that of the WWII era where certain information was used to round up Japanese Americans bound for intermittent camps. Secondly, she indicates that “…the Constitution doesn’t require information above [household data]…” Here it is, directly from the horse’s mouth:
Now, there are a couple of things tragically wrong with the information Bachmann is dishing out here. For starters, it was sheer lunacy on her part to even implicitly suggest that personal information could potentially be used to the detriment of people. Not that I don’t agree to an extent, but this is coming from the same person who is “Strongly Opposed” to the idea that the Patriot Act harms civil liberties. Also, where was that same level of passion when post 9/11 Arab-Americans were the targets?
At any rate, Bachmann’s declaration struck me for a couple of reasons:
(1) Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution explicitly notes that the Census is done as directed by Congress. If they so desire (and if it is indeed voted on), Congress can ask any questions they want in the Census. Whether or not we think the questions are pertinent to anything is irrelevant. So I find it fascinated that an elected lawmaker has used a nationally televised forum to declare that she has no intention of ACTUALLY FOLLOWING THE LAW. Wow.
(2) ACORN is simply serving as one of the many “partners” in the Census. Contrary to the ideas raised by Rep. Bachmann, they will not be directly involved with conducting the Census. Instead, partners are essentially responsible for spreading the word about the importance and benefits of the Census. In her zealous efforts to propogate the misinformation about ACORN’s overblown involvement in the Census, she has stirred tons of people who have built unmitigated antipathy toward the liberal group. But even Judicial Watch, a non-partisan watchdog organization of the Census Bureau has attempted to alleviate any concerns that ACORN will play a role in the Census outside of recruitment and promotion. I don’t deny ACORN’s history with voter registration fraud – which could in fact fuel some of Bachmann’s skepticism – but this ain’t the same. In fact, I liken any opposition to encouraging people to do the Census to somebody like me turning down advice about the importance of staying healthy just because Sean Hannity was the messenger.
Simply put y’all: just do the damn Census and be done with it. If you don’t like the questions included in the survey, take it up with your representatives. Otherwise, take a stand, don’t do it, and get charged $100 ($500 if you lie). If we can get enough people to follow Bachmann’s lead, we will have the money to pay off this country’s deficit in no time!