Michele Bachmann: I will break the law


by Jeff Fecke | June 18, 2009 • Oh, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-A Different Part of Minnesota Than Where I Live, what would we do without you? It’s like each utterance from you is a missive from a parallel reality, one altogether different from our own, where up is down, right is wrong, Muslim is Super-Evil Death Muslim, and Census-Takers are planning to seize our precious bodily fluids:

Jeff Fecke is a freelance writer who lives in Eagan, Minnesota.In addition to his own blog, Blog of the Moderate Left, he also contributes to Alas, a Blog, Minnesota Campaign Report, and AlterNet. Fecke has appeared as a guest on the “Today” show, the Alan Colmes radio show, and the Mark Heaney Show. Fecke is divorced, and the father of one really terrific daughter. His debut novel, The Valkyrie’s Tale, is now available.

Outspoken Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she’s so worried that information from next year’s national census will be abused that she will refuse to fill out anything more than the number of people in her household.

In an interview Wednesday morning with The Washington Times [sic] “America’s Morning News,” Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, said the questions have become “very intricate, very personal” and she also fears ACORN, the community organizing group that came under fire for its voter registration efforts last year, will be part of the Census Bureau’s door-to-door information collection efforts.

“I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”

No, really, she said that:

Of course, Rep. Bachmann is kinda, sorta wrong about what her obligations are under the law:

Shelly Lowe, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Census Bureau, said Mrs. Bachmann is “misreading” the law.

She sent a portion of the U.S. legal code that says anyone over 18 years of age who refuses to answer “any of the questions” on the census can be fined up to $5,000.

But hey, why would we expect a U.S. Congresswoman to follow the law of the land?

Of course, part of Bachmann’s fear is that ACORN has evidently applied to be a subcontractor for recruiting workers to conduct census, which I actually kind of agree is something that shouldn’t happen — ACORN is an organization with a definite political bent, and just as I’d be opposed to, say, the Moral Majority being involved in the census, I think it’s best if ACORN is out, too, simply because it creates the appearance of impropriety.

But that’s a bit different from what Bachmann says worries her:

They will be in charge of going door to door and collecting data from the American public,” she said. “This is very concerning.”

You know what that sentence isn’t? True. Even if ACORN is hired as a recruiter, they won’t be “in charge” of anything. The organization in charge will be the Census Bureau, which is part of the government. At best, ACORN will be a staffing agency subcontracted by the Census Bureau because back during the ’80s and ’90s we decided that the government should be prevented from doing things it can do and that it should be forced to rely on non-profit and for-profit subcontractors, which is why KBR is building electric showers in Iraq.

If Rep. Bachmann wanted to call for us to fully fund the Census Bureau so that they can do their own hiring, without having to bring in outside groups to help, I’d be all for it. Instead, she’s going to claim that ACORN is going to take her family’s personal information and give it to the International Monolithic Muslim Conspiracy, who will then…um…something. It’ll be bad, trust her. And Minnesotans outside of the Sixth Congressional District continue to shake our heads, and wonder if we could convince the area between St. Cloud and Stillwater to secede from the state. But that would just mean Gov. Bachmann right next door to us, right on our border. And with her as the head of a National Guard, I’m not sure she wouldn’t invade.

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