It's not enough that folks from the Birther & Death Panel set have convinced many good folks that the Census is a secret plot to steal their lawn furniture. There's another irony waiting. Historically, the real problem with underreporting has been in underprivileged communities -- particularly African-Americans and Latinos and especially in large urban areas. To that end, conservatives have worked for the better part of two decades to stop the Census from taking any steps to correct numbers in the face of widespread non-response: namely, statistical sampling. And in the face of that pressure, the current Census Director has ruled out using sampling in the 2010 Census.Under-reporting, in general, cheats everyone in the end. But if it happens, it's nice to see that -- for a change -- the under-reporting won't be a result of ignoring low-income urban dwellers, but rather the wild emotional conclusions of tea baggers and 9-12ers, living in a conspiracy theory consumed haze fed by reality challenged reactionaries like Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Jim DeMint.
Combining their fervent opposition to using statistical sampling (Grrrrr! More science! Elitists!) and their charged (and lunatic) rhetoric over ACORN conspiracies and gov'mint takeovers, conservative luminaries may have tea partied themselves into under-representation. Which is even more ironic, considering representation -- not Democrats winning elections -- spawned the revolution that these "visionaries" pretend to be recreating. The money quote, from Bachmann:
If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt, and that's how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps ... I'm not saying that that's what the Administration is planning to do, but I am saying that private personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up, in a violation of their constitutional rights, and put the Japanese in internment camps.It's a confusing new world, today, for morons. So much idiocy to align oneself with, how can one be expected to choose?
Best just to sit the next few years out listening to the HAM radio in the basement, wrapped, shaking, in a "Don't Tread on Me!" flag.
We'll let you know when it's safe to come out.