Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Wicked Witch of the Midwest | Politics as Usual

First and foremost: her eyes scare the shit out of me. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me try to describe to you the maniac that is Michele Bachmann. During last year’s presidential election, she made headlines over her stinging remarks against Barack Obama and his legitimacy. But most strikingly, she called for an “exposé” (how elitist!) on members of congress to determine who was patriotic and who wasn’t.

Pure lunacy.

She ended up winning her reelection in November – a feat that baffles me to this very day – and now she’s back and ready for more. The election of Barack Obama truly must have warped her already twisted mind. Her new beef is that she’s adamantly opposed to the census coming up in 2010 (completed once every decade); (I wonder if she'd be such a worry-wart if McCain had won). Taking “government, stay out of my life”-conservatism beyond the bounds of reason, Bachmann considers the upcoming census as a preparatory act to place people in “camps”. Her words: “That’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying 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.” So she’s not sayin’ it. But, you know, she’s... sayin’ it.

As such, Bachmann has proposed that people ignore the census, and abstain from answering the questions. The problem is that this is a crime punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.

But that’s not the only problem – and by problem, I mean hilariously unexpected outcome – that Bachmann could be facing. The census provides the proper information to grant electoral votes to the states. Based on the population numbers and statistics, states are granted a certain number of electoral votes, critical to elections. Imagine if a huge chunk of Bachmann-following conservatives (are they even conservatives at this point) refuse to fill out the census. They’ll be grossly misrepresented. That’s a good thing… for… Democrats! Duh!

But that’s not all. Bachmann’s buffoonery knows no bounds. Her next claim is that the census does not ask its participants whether or not they are U.S. citizens. On Glenn Beck’s show she stated: “You know the question that's not on this survey, Glenn? ‘Are you a U.S. citizen?’ This would be your perfect opportunity to find out how many illegal aliens are in the United States.”

It’s time to do some research!

You see, I checked out the census – you know, just for kicks – and I discovered some important information that Bachmann must have glossed over, with those beady, glossy eyes of hers. The Table of Contents to the “2010 Decennial Census Program” is pretty straightforward. The third portion (section C) of the census notebook lays out the questions for the “American Community Survey”, with questions for “Basic Characteristics”, “Social Characteristics”, “Economic Characteristics”, “Physical Characteristics” and “Financial Characteristics”. Filed under “Social Characteristics”, there is a section which is titled “Place of Birth, Citizenship, and Year of Entry”. Hmm. Bachmann must have missed this one. Turning to page 18 of the notebook, I found the following the questions:

Question #7: Where was this person born?

Question #8: Is this person a citizen of the United States?

Question #9: When did this person come to live in the United States?

Now, let’s quote Bachmann once again: “You know the question that's not on this survey, Glenn? ‘Are you a U.S. citizen?’”

Let me also re-paste question #8 on the survey: Question #8: Is this person a citizen of the United States?

A little bit more research teaches us that questions #7 through #9 have been asked since the 1800's. Really.

“Are you a U.S. citizen?” Is this person a citizen of the United States?” Close enough for me. And all I had to do was press CTRL+F. When will conservatives ever learn?