Friday, April 02, 2010

The Evil Obama Census

While it's expected for conservatives to reflexively oppose healthcare reform and other liberalish policies, it's downright hilarious when they start attacking entirely innocuous issues, like the Census.  For whatever reason, conservatives HATE the Census.  Sure, yes, the Census is constitutionally mandated, but with Obama in charge of it, nothing can be taken for granted, and it should be assumed that he's up to no good. 

So what's their big complaint?  While they're upset about any question beyond a basic headcount, their primary complaint is that it asks about race.  That's right.  Because the Census requests that people identify their race, it's a deplorable trick that must be vanquished.  After all, conservatives are now "color blind" and see no distinction between the races, while anyone who acknowledges race is a racist who is trying to hurt white people; and that includes the Census, which only started asking about race a mere two hundred and twenty years ago.

You see, that's what color blindness is all about these days: Protecting white people from all those lazy non-whites trying to hurt them all the time. 

Sampling teh Crazy

Here's a sample of crazy, from just one post at RedState in which a hapless Republican congressman from North Carolina futilely attempts to persuade conservatives to fill-in their census forms, and is roundly ignored by almost every commenter.
"Sir, the only questions I object to on my on my census form are those dealing with race and culture. If we are all created equal, why does it matter what race I am or what culture I look to?"

"I agree that the race question is offensive. I have filled out my form completely, although reluctantly."

"By all means, all conservative should fill out and return the census forms for enumeration purposes. After that I do not concur on the Constitutional mandate for completing the form."

"I’m not turning my data over to ACORN census takers. The extra data obviously only exists for some some social program overtones."

"There’s no way in hell that one’s race should constitutionally be a factor in doing that (not that the activists on the courts haven’t required it). Nor does one’s age or in what kind of structure they reside have any relevance to COUNTING."

"Maybe I’m just paranoid. Maybe I’m tired of being called a racist every time I oppose something Obama does. Maybe I don’t want those same people who call me a racist be the ones who decide what they are going to do based on my race."

"I for one will be going the “American” route. I will probably fill out the rest accurately, however I will not contribute to the continued race discrimination that our government happily encourages and participates in."
That last one, by the way, was the preferred response to the race question, by pretending that their nationality is a race; with at least six people saying that's how they'll fill it out.  Others preferred to list themselves as "human," though there are some doubts as to that claim.

Another commenter took the long view and reasoned that since scientists say that the human race started in Africa, we're all African-Americans, while also saying he's a "Native American" because he was born here.  Somehow, it didn't occur to these geniuses that these are just labels for the various races and aren't to be taken literally.  I suppose they also object to being called caucasians, because they never lived in the Caucasus.

Ignoring the Constitution

One guy actually suggests that because the original purpose of the Census is no longer applicable, it's ok for us to simply ignore that part of the Constitution:
The reason for the census was done away with when representation was locked into the 435 member House of Representatives and 100 Senators.  The enumeration included in the census for 3/5 persons was for the purpose of representation.  If that part of the reasoning behind the census has been done away with, why comply with that constitutional mandate since it is now useless?
And here's a guy who suggests that it's ok to ignore the Constitution because liberals do the same thing:
Taking the moral high ground and strictly following the constitution are all well and good, and I advocate both when possible, but it’s this kind of logic that has pinned our backs against the wall. I don’t condone skirting the constitution for political gain, but when the opposition brazenly uses such tactics to advance their agenda I think we should reciprocate accordingly.
Yes, the Constitution is now optional, and can be ignored if you think its inconvenient.

In fact, ignoring the Constitution was a regular theme for these people.  Apparently, the Constitution is an unbreakable rulebook which forbids Congress from doing practically anything, except for the parts they don't like, in which case it's really more of a set of guidelines than actual rules. 

Like the Necessary and Proper Clause in the Constitution.  Sure, it explictly states that Congress can write any laws it needs in order to fulfill its duties, but since it undermines their belief that the government is limited to only the rules explictly written in the Constitution, it doesn't count.  Same goes for the Commerce Clause, which simply doesn't exist.

The Punchline

And of course, the punchline is that the Constitution doesn't mandate any of this.  It's Title 13 of the United States Code that mandates that we send in our census forms, while the Constitution explictly states that Congress can do this, saying (emphasis added):
The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years in such manner as they shall by law direct.
And these dopes would know that if they bothered reading the post they were responding to, as Representative McHenry stated that outright, quoting the Constitution and explaining what it meant.  But because conservtives don't like that, they're forced to ignore that part of the Constitution and pretend that the Constitution limits the census to enumeration, because they can't be bothered to read the rest of that sentence.

And what does the law say about filling out the census form?
(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey...shall be fined not more than $100.

(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.

Shooting Their Own Feet

So let's see, the Constitution requires the Federal Government to take a census in accordance to whatever law Congress passes, and the law Congress passed mandates that everyone answer the Census accurately or be fined.  That sounds pretty damn clear to me.  And what's the argument against filling out the census?  I haven't the foggiest.  For as insistent as these people are that Obama's census is horrible, they never bother explaining what the exact problem is. 
At best, they allude to some issue with social programs, but never get around to explaining how it could possibly benefit them to not tell the government they're white.  Perhaps they think ACORN will use it to round up all the white people and enslave them, I don't know.  But that's not their main beef.  Their main beef is simply that anything Obama does is horrible and unconstitutional, and that includes the Census. 

As a reminder, they also hated Clinton's Census in 2000.  Back then, their main complaint was about the dreaded long form, as well as the evils of statistical sampling; neither of which are issues this time around.  Yet, while the complaints are different, the opposition is the same.  Because again, this isn't about the Constitution or enumeration or Obama; they just oppose anything Democrats do, no matter what.

And rather than ending the cruel practice of keeping tabs on our nation's racial make-up, all their protest will do is deflate the number of whites in this country, while setting them up to be fined for non-compliance and getting a visit from a census worker; all of which will cost them more money.  Way to go, douchebags.  And of course, now that it's obvious that the Constitution demands a census and supports the law that makes compliance mandatory, conservatives can be expected to comply fully, having had their criticisms answered. 

Or...not.  Because again, this isn't about race or the Constitution or the Census or Obama.  It's about there being a Democrat in the Whitehouse.  Everything else is a sideshow.

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