BACHMANN PUSHES HER LUCK WITH GOP COLLEAGUES…. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) bizarre obsession with the national census — she’s said she’s prepared to break the law and not answer census questions — has become so annoying, some of her far-right Republican colleagues in the House have seen enough.
David Weigel reports today that Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), and John Mica (R-Fla) — three conservatives on the House Census Oversight Subcommittee — issued a statement today, emphasizing “how important it is for every individual to fill out their census forms,” and explaining why Bachmann is backwards.
“Every elected representative in this country should feel a responsibility to encourage full participation in the census. To do otherwise is to advocate for a smaller share of federal funding for our constituents. Boycotting the constitutionally-mandated census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country.
“The unfortunate irony is that Ms. Bachmann’s boycott only increases the likelihood that ACORN-recruited census takers will be dispatched to her constituents’ homes. Anyone who completes and returns their census form will remove any need for a census taker to visit their residence.
“Furthermore, a boycott opens the door for partisans to statistically adjust census results. The partisan manipulation of census data would irreparably transform the census from being the baseline of our entire statistical system into a tool used to wield political power in Washington.”
As Weigel noted, “You don’t usually hear Republicans criticizing a fellow member in such a public and official capacity.” Quite right. Given the language in this statement — “illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country” — it was a pretty striking rebuke from three far-right Republicans to another.
And as long as we’re on the subject, Bachmann talked to Sean Hannity on Fox News last night about her anti-census crusade, and returned to one of her favorite arguments: “Sean, you know the one question they don’t ask? They [don’t] ask, ‘are you an American citizen?’ … [T]hey could at least ask if we’re an American citizen? They don’t bother to ask for that. That’s why I think people need to read this census for themselves. If you go to my website, michelebachmann, you can read it.”
Good idea. If you take Bachmann’s advice, visit her website, and read the census, you find the American Community Survey put together by the Census Bureau. Question #7 reads: “Where was this person born?” Question #8 reads, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”
Bachmann probably should have noticed this before repeatedly going on national television, pleading with people to read the census questions, and railing against the absence of a question that’s already there.