Are conservatives blowing the Census?

posted at 2:20 pm on April 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

As the federal government ramps up its hiring at the Census Bureau to complete the decennial obligation, conservatives have also ramped up the debate over its use and its composition.  A movement to refuse to answer the race/ethnicity question has already gained some steam, while some have counseled against answering the questionnaire at all.  Rep. Patrick McHenry, a conservative Republican from North Carolina, scolds such advocates for failing to adhere to the Constitution — and for inadvertently damaging conservative prospects in the future:

I’m not worried about ACORN rigging the count – we already succeeded in kicking them out of the census. I’m not worried about the President’s attempt to run the census out of the White House – we beat that power grab back last year. I’m not even worried about privacy – this year’s 10-question census form is the shortest in memory.

No, what worries me is blatant misinformation coming from otherwise well-meaning conservatives. They are trying to do the right thing, but instead they are helping big government liberals by discouraging fellow conservatives from filling out their census forms.

Early census returns are showing that conservatives have been measurably less likely than liberals to return their census forms. A recent article in the Houston Chronicle points out that conservative Texas is way behind the national average in returning census forms and some of the lowest rates are in Texas’ most conservative counties. [Update: Since the Houston Chronicle article was published, the average national census participation rate has increased to 52 percent and the rates in each of the counties mentioned in the article have increased to the following, still very low, rates: King County, 25 percent; Briscoe County, 33 percent; Culberson County, 22 percent; Newton County, 30 percent.]

Few things make will make Nancy Pelosi happier than large numbers of conservatives failing to respond to the census. If we do not respond, we will not be counted and if we are not counted, then we effectively will not exist. That would reduce conservatives’ power in elections, allow Democrats to draw more favorable congressional boundaries and help put more tax-hiking politicians in office.

McHenry doesn’t have much patience for the complaints about demographic questions, noting that the Constitution gives Congress the authority to draft the questions, and that such questions go back to the very first Census efforts in the US:

History also makes clear that this argument is completely unfounded. Every census in U.S. history has asked for more information than a simple count. In fact, the most private question on this year’s form asks for an individual’s race and that question has been asked by every census since the 1790 census conducted under then-President George Washington. To suggest that this question or others like it make this year’s census unconstitutional is absurd.

I suspect that the motivations back then may have been a little different than those in recent Censuses, but the point is well taken.  As McHenry says, conservatives tend to argue for a strict-constructionist reading of the Constitution.  The Census is one of the few federal exercises that actually has a basis in the Constitution these days, and the language appears to give Congress very wide latitude in conducting it:

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. (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3)

I’m always a little suspicious of questionnaires on ethnicity, but the Census has a Constitutional mandate — and it has far-reaching consequences.  People in states where conservatives outstrip liberals could be committing political suicide if a boycott effort results in shortchanging those states in Congressional representation to the benefit of states like California, New York, Washington, and Massachusetts.  It seems better to ensure that an accurate count gets taken by a concerted effort to count conservatives than the results a boycott or a “slowcott” would produce.

Of course, people may disagree on this topic.  Here’s a poll for Hot Air readers, which I hope covers the range of responses:


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

I haven’t received my census form yet. That’s the only reason mine hasn’t been returned.

Doughboy on April 1, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Have there been more stories about conservatives skipping the census than that one? Wasilla is filling out their census faster than Hyde Park FWIW….

ninjapirate on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Why the hulabaloo over the ethnicity part? Whats wrong with knowing the cultural makeup of a given city or town? I mean, why not be counted as of scots irish or german decent? What’s the big deal? Is it because the food isnt as good as the other ethnic cuisines? What?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

My problem with it is that it doesn’t ask for proof of citizenship (like my SSN).

stefanite on April 1, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I returned mine immediately, I didn’t see any threat to it.

And I don’t want any of these clowns visiting my home or calling me, either.

Filling it out correctly precludes that.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Why do they need to know how many people live at my house, what “color” I am. If I am female or not or “other”?

If the census was
1. a. Are you male
b. Are you female

And that should be it. But someone would scream gender discrimination or something asinine.

upinak on April 1, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Did mine, and my pastor gave a little PSA type announcement in a recent service about how the govt. uses the census to allocate resources.

I don’t think anybody should be “forced” to complete it, but it is helpful to know who’s were in general terms. I’d also not quibble if folks were leery of the ethnicity questions.

I’d bet, though, the Feds can get a lot more info by snooping on the internet than they pick up off this paper if they really want to find out about you.

Just my $.02.

cs89 on April 1, 2010 at 2:26 PM

answer the census and vote out congress in novemebr

Mr. Bingley on April 1, 2010 at 2:26 PM

I’ve filled out my Census formed and mailed it in. I’ll be damned if my lack of participation leads to more political power for Blue States or less for my state.

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Why the hulabaloo over the ethnicity part?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Reverse discrimination… members of la raza ain’t got that problem…

ninjapirate on April 1, 2010 at 2:26 PM

oops, too quick

answer the census and vote out congress in november so that conservatives can control what is done with the redistricting

Mr. Bingley on April 1, 2010 at 2:27 PM

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Ever heard off going off merit and not skin color? I don’t want to know what you are.. because it shouldn’t matter. It isn’t like they are doing a geneology graph on you!

upinak on April 1, 2010 at 2:27 PM

I returned ours. I didn’t answer whether I owned or rented, or my phone number. Didn’t think they needed those. I answered Swedish-American and my husband answered American.

sandee on April 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

I never got a Census sent to me in the mail.

portlandon on April 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

I don’t see why everyone’s making a big deal about this census. It’s actually alot less intrusive than the long form in 2000.

Deanna on April 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

People in states where conservatives outstrip liberals could be committing political suicide

Is there a question that asks of you’re a conservative or a commie pinko libtard?

Akzed on April 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Why the hulabaloo over the ethnicity part? Whats wrong with knowing the cultural makeup of a given city or town? I mean, why not be counted as of scots irish or german decent? What’s the big deal? Is it because the food isnt as good as the other ethnic cuisines? What?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Because we are Americans. Not scots, irish or germans or kenyans..

Key West Reader on April 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

I mean, why not be counted as of scots irish or german decent? What’s the big deal? Is it because the food isnt as good as the other ethnic cuisines? What?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

It’s about being divided into groups rather than one country as a melting pot, forming a race of Americans.

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:29 PM

My problem with it is that it doesn’t ask for proof of citizenship (like my SSN).

stefanite on April 1, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Far as I know, an SSN is not, by law, accepted as proper identification. I know, I know–don’t leave home without it. LOL

Liam on April 1, 2010 at 2:29 PM

going by strict Anthropological science there actually is no such thing as race.

max1 on April 1, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Is there a question that asks of you’re a conservative or a commie pinko libtard?

Akzed on April 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

No. Why?

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:29 PM

If you think the census is intrusive, wait until you get the American Community Survey. It was once called the long form census. It is amazing what they ask for in this survey. Changes need to be made in many areas that Congress has made laws to “govern”.

d1carter on April 1, 2010 at 2:30 PM

with all due respect to HA, don’t take the results of this poll seriously….i’m sure our friends from dailyKos will be here shortly to spam the thing so that people think others are going to not answer the questions

please, let’s answer the questions.

r keller on April 1, 2010 at 2:30 PM

I put the number of people and that was it. They don’t need to know our names, ages, phone numbers etc. That isn’t in the Constitution.

MobileVideoEngineer on April 1, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Even though I don’t like giving the government more information than I already do….after a little hesitation I completed it correctly and returned it. I view it as a duty. Had it asked for income or other more specific info, I would have been more reluctant to do so.

search4truth on April 1, 2010 at 2:30 PM

I’d bet, though, the Feds can get a lot more info by snooping on the internet than they pick up off this paper if they really want to find out about you.

Just my $.02.

cs89 on April 1, 2010 at 2:26 PM

That is the rub, they have all of this info anyway and just want us to do the job of dead weight federal employees.

thomasaur on April 1, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Actually, if you live in a historically Dem district, why wouldn’t it be better to not respond (from a game-theory perspective)? You still vote, but the Dem legislator that ignores you doesn’t have as much oomph as before and may have part of his fiefdom redistricted.

cthulhu on April 1, 2010 at 2:31 PM

The census is necessary for apportionment purposes, but all the commercials saying it’s necessary to allocate money are annoying.

zmdavid on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Politically, not returning the Census is shooting yourself in the foot — unless you live in an area that overwhelmingly votes against you.

Count to 10 on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

How does one define race or ethnicity? Are we using the one drop rule? How did Obama fill out that part? If accuracy can’t be insured, what good is the question?

a capella on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

No. Why? amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Really? It doesn’t? /sarc…

Then how does not fully completing the form shortchange conservatives, as McHenry warned?

Akzed on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Your poll ought to include an option for only answering the number in the household.

flyfisher on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

I don’t think it is conservatives holding it up – Chicago has the worst turn in rate in the country. Which means, they will need a physical count – wonder who will be doing it?

Queen0fCups on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

It’s about being divided into groups rather than one country as a melting pot, forming a race of Americans.

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:29 PM

But plenty of people aren’t racial “Americans” (whatever that means). And even if thats what you really wanted, what does the census have to do with it? Why can’t people take note (read: simply observe) that there may be a large concentration of italians or indians in a given neighborhood? Is having this data that bad? Does it offend you that some people are rather proud of their ethnic background, even in a completely innocent way?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

So, our government is already isolating ‘conservative’ counties and releasing return percentage information to the press to flag us as somehow anti-American and radical???

And they wonder why people are skeptical of this being more than a simple head count?

cntrlfrk on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

If you live in a red area, fill it out.

Now, there’s room for an ‘Operation Chaos’ sort of situation for us moles here in hardcore Dem country, to try to contain the spread of the blue stain…

JEM on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

If you answered anything other than Yes, completely you probably sat out the last election because McCain wasn’t conservative enough for you. Well hows that working out for you now?

Question: Whats a person called who does the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome?

meci on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Yes. And I’m going to fill out the “race” question with HUMAN, because there is only the human race.

Now, if they had asked for my ethnicity, I would have filled in AMERICAN.

BTW, one thing that troubles me is the government wanting forms back already. It is supposed to be a count taken today, April 1. True, I believed that I was going to be the only human living at my house today, but you can never be 100% sure. So I’d almost consider it fraud to fill out the census form early — you never know if someone else might be living at your house on April 1, or someone could die beforehand. I waited until today (actually tonight) to fill out the census.

rbj on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

I let each family member answer the questions about themselves.

My daughter filled it out completely, my wife refused the questions other than her name and I put my race down as human.

cozmo on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Don’t know about you, but I’m a non hyphen American
The food is just fine.

katy the mean old lady on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I left the phone number blank and answered “American” for race. I filled out the rest.

If I’m a bad conservative for doing that, so be it.

jennifernaz on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I’m in Texas and I just sent mine in today. I gave them the household count. I didn’t fill in the name, only gave the year of birth and age (left off birth month/day), did not give a phone number and put other: American Human down for race. If they come to my door then I will tell them that my husband is an alien from the planet Zoltar and that I had considered putting down Other: Human & Alien for race of my kids.

mrsmwp on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I never got a Census sent to me in the mail.

Woo, off the radar!

I receieved a letter or postcard saying it was coming, the census, then a postcard saying it came, and possibly one more census related piece of mail.

Why the hulabaloo over the ethnicity part?

It’s completely irrelevant and only adds to the cost of the overall census procedure.

Also, this type of data only serves to allow politicians to pander to certain ethnic groups, and leads to Gerrymandering.

reaganaut on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I filled out mine, it took 2 minutes. You don’t even have to pay for postage. I’m in Maxine Twatters district and I still filled it out because I want her to know that she has permanent opposition.

Apologetic California on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I live in Liberal King County Washington.
Conservatives in liberal areas, where Republicans have zero chance of winning an election might find it tempting to understate the people count in their home.

Those living in conservative areas might find it tempting to overstate the count.

If we could inflate the conservative population in areas likely to elect Republicans and minimize the population in liberal areas it could be rewarding in congress.

Just don’t know how to explain it to God. (Darn, always a problem.)

The Rock on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

The census is necessary for apportionment purposes, but all the commercials saying it’s necessary to allocate money are annoying.

zmdavid on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Did you get the same letter I did about filling out the census so your district can get federal funds?

Count to 10 on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I’m not worried about ACORN rigging the count – we already succeeded in kicking them out of the census. I’m not worried about the President’s attempt to run the census out of the White House – we beat that power grab back last year.

I’m not worried about ObamaCare leading to rationed medical services. Obama says it’s kosher and I believe him.

Good lord is this really the thought process of a Republican congressman? Tell me again why I should bother voting again.

angryed on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

going by strict Anthropological science there actually is no such thing as race.

max1 on April 1, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Races are only different gene pools.
Like dog breeds. Each dog breed is its own unique gene pool.

Badger40 on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I remember from last time, so many folks put in “multiracial”, that the leftist quota mongers became quite concerned.

Seems that if they can’t put you in an “exploiter/exploited” box, it undercuts their whole racial grievance issue.

Just an interesting observation.

Rebar on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I mean, why not be counted as of scots irish or german decent? What’s the big deal? Is it because the food isnt as good as the other ethnic cuisines? What?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

The European ethnicities are not presented on the form. It is just White (non-Hispanic). DOes this mean someone from Spain is different than one from Germany because they speak SPanish?

WashJeff on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

I’m terribly offended that white encompasses so many…seriously is infuriating.

Im friggin Irish, don’t lump me in with the rest of Europe!

daesleeper on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

I understand why the census is necessary, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s really annoying. I mean, sending forms out to everybody just telling them the census is comng? Then sending us another form after we recieved the census telling us we got it?! What a complete waste of time and money!

Emily M. on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Then how does not fully completing the form shortchange conservatives, as McHenry warned?

Akzed on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Because it determines electoral votes and Congressional seats.

If conservatives decide not to turn in their Census forms and they’re under-counted, states with large conservative populations — typically red states — will end up with less representation both in Congress and the Electoral College.

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

If you answered anything other than Yes, completely you probably sat out the last election because McCain wasn’t conservative enough for you. Well hows that working out for you now?

Question: Whats a person called who does the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome?

meci on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

I’m sorry, but you are an idiot. I voted for McCain but I didn’t COMPLETELY fill out the form. I CONSTITUTIONALLY filled out the form.

MobileVideoEngineer on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Ever heard off going off merit and not skin color? I don’t want to know what you are.. because it shouldn’t matter. It isn’t like they are doing a geneology graph on you!

upinak on April 1, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Its not about me though, its about the area. Is there really something wrong with knowing that there’s a large italian community in a given neighborhood, or a large indian community?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

He’s a Zoltar-American?

Akzed on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

On second thought, even better, if you live in a Dem district, wouldn’t it be better to be counted somewhere else?

cthulhu on April 1, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Does it offend you that some people are rather proud of their ethnic background, even in a completely innocent way?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

It offends me that certain approved groups are given a free pass to celebrate themselves while other disapproved groups would have Janet Napolitano on their ass if they celebrated their heritage (why do Democrats never seem to run out of incompetent statist hacks named “Janet”).

Seems to me if you’re that hot and heavy about your ethnic origins, perhaps you should look into moving back there.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Races are only different gene pools.
Like dog breeds. Each dog breed is its own unique gene pool.

Badger40 on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Yeah but most humans don’t look like a Bassett Hound/ Newfy mixes either.

upinak on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I mean, why not be counted as of scots irish or german decent? What’s the big deal? Is it because the food isnt as good as the other ethnic cuisines? What?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Just to give you a good-natured hard time, there’s no such thing as a ‘Scots Irish’. We’re either Scot, or we’re Irish.

Yes, I know the history and all, being of Scot lineage tracing my Clan back to 536AD. But I couldn’t resist lightly kidding you around since you gave me the chance!

I filled out my form fully and truly, no ‘protest’ involved. I did consider a few protest answers but in the end decided not to. I saw no reason to make a worker’s job harder, the same way I won’t complain to a check-counter girl because she might be slow getting me out of the store.

I have a friend who’s Circassian, and the term ‘Caucasian’ might be offensive to her. Caucasians–from the Caucasus Mountains–carried on a pogrom of genocide against Circassians.

Anyone can go nuts about anything. I figured I’d keep my sanity, since it’s something no one can tax. Well, yet, anyway… LOL

Liam on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

How misleading is that poll? The available answers are not sufficient.

How about, yes, but only the number of people in the household and their ages?

How about, yes, but there are certain questions I will not answer?

You might as well toss the results.

Gregor on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

But plenty of people aren’t racial “Americans” (whatever that means). And even if thats what you really wanted, what does the census have to do with it? Why can’t people take note (read: simply observe) that there may be a large concentration of italians or indians in a given neighborhood? Is having this data that bad? Does it offend you that some people are rather proud of their ethnic background, even in a completely innocent way?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

There wasn’t a check spot for Italians or Germans when I checked. I’m pretty sure it was just white.

Again, we’re supposed to be a melting pot. Keeping people divided into groups discourages assimilation.

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

If you hate the census, you hate America. It’s in the Constitution.

[An] 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.

Why do you hate America and the Constitution?

Constant Parrhesia on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Did you get the same letter I did about filling out the census so your district can get federal funds?

Count to 10 on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I got a letter a week before saying the form would arrive in about a week. It might have said something about federal money. What a waste! Why not just send the form?

zmdavid on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

So now your cutting down “large indians”?

Maybe they’re just big boned.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Races are only different gene pools.
Like dog breeds. Each dog breed is its own unique gene pool.

Badger40 on April 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM

So, like, that’s why libs are always barking up the wrong tree? LOL

Liam on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

The European ethnicities are not presented on the form. It is just White (non-Hispanic). DOes this mean someone from Spain is different than one from Germany because they speak SPanish?

WashJeff on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Some other race: Scots Irish

Not too hard, no? The Thai’s didnt get their own bubble either, even though they’re quite different from Japanese or Korean. Im still not understanding why everyone’s so touchy about this.

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

The literal meaning of Census is to count. A head count. I’m pretty damn sure that the current government will “modify” the data to say what they want it to say in the end anyway.

I hope people realize that the government used Census data to round up Japanese-Americans and ship them off to internment camps during WW2. Of course that would never happen today. Right?

Guardian on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Putting aside the political aspect of the census….

This is 2010. I refuse to believe that we need to spend billions of dollars to have people walking door to door counting people.

IRS and DMV databases should be enough to do a count of people. And it would cost 1/1000 as much money.

angryed on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Im friggin Irish, don’t lump me in with the rest of Europe! daesleeper on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Irish (The San Patricios) fought with Santa Anna. So, yer lumped.

Akzed on April 1, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Its not about me though, its about the area. Is there really something wrong with knowing that there’s a large italian community in a given neighborhood, or a large indian community?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

LMFAO! OMG Ernie, do you BELEIVE those commercials on the Census? Sweetie.. you are very naive.

upinak on April 1, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I already filled out the form and did not think it was anything to get all excited about. The questions are rather benign as well, so I think my fellow conservatives should fill it out. Otherwise you’ll have a scary census worker coming to your door.

Blue Collar Todd on April 1, 2010 at 2:38 PM

LMFAO! OMG Ernie, do you BELEIVE those commercials on the Census? Sweetie.. you are very naive.

upinak on April 1, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Then enlighten me. What conspiracy am I missing here?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I didn’t enter my phone number. The government can get my phone number any time they want it. And as for the race thing we are all “Other: American” in this household.

crosspatch on April 1, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Blue Collar Todd on April 1, 2010 at 2:38 PM

My front door is attracting wasp/bee swarms lately, I would not want to be charged with a federal crime so I sent mine in.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Its not about me though, its about the area. Is there really something wrong with knowing that there’s a large italian community in a given neighborhood, or a large indian community?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

If you are a private market research group. No.

If you are a public, tax funded government organization. Yes.

angryed on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

On second thought, even better, if you live in a Dem district, wouldn’t it be better to be counted somewhere else?

Not really. District lines tend to change, based on the party in power in that state and the census results. When they have enough info on who lives where, they can make themselves nifty little districts to ensure re-election.

reaganaut on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

This is my personal take:

In the advertisements I see, the slogan is: “We can’t move forward until you return your census form!”

…My immediate reaction? “Okay, then I won’t send it. We’ve done enough ‘moving forward’ in the last year that will last us a century.” Fail advertising is fail.

That, and it’s the epitome of government waste. I received a postcard a month ago: “If you need help filling out your form, let us know at…”. A week later, “You will be receiving your census form. Please fill it out. If you have questions, contact us at …”. The week after, we got the census form. My wife filled it out (and, to avoid any serious fighting, I’m just going to trust her on what she did and did not fill in). I mailed it last week. In that same week, we got a postcard: “Please remember to fill in your census.”

IE, for one form, we got 4 different mailings–”you will receive it”, “you will receive it”, the form, “please mail back the form”. I’m half-expecting another postcard that says, “We’ve gotten the form. If you have any questions…”. I’m glad my tax dollars are being put to good use….. /facepalm

CatsGodot on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

I’ll fill out the Census when my f@@king government cares about Illegals.

JihadKiller1s1k on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Some other race: Scots Irish

Not too hard, no? The Thai’s didnt get their own bubble either, even though they’re quite different from Japanese or Korean. Im still not understanding why everyone’s so touchy about this.

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

So you’re not getting an accurate representation of a racial make-up, because some “Scots Irish” will just check “white” while others may provide a different name for the same ethnicity or have their own phrase for it.

In other words, it’s going to be an inaccurate picture of ethnic make-up because there are too many available options when you can write-in your own answer.

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Im still not understanding why everyone’s so touchy about this.

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Anyone ever mentioned that you are naive? Free men ought to have a healthy distrust of government.

flyfisher on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Yeah but most humans don’t look like a Bassett Hound/ Newfy mixes either.

upinak on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I’m trying to picture that. Male Basset with a ladder? Newfy with a ditch?

katy the mean old lady on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

How can I teach my daughter that she should judge and be judged based on actions and accomplishments only when thrown in her face every day is “first woman” this, “first black” that, etc. and people are constantly asking her what her race is?

sisterchristian on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Just to give you a good-natured hard time, there’s no such thing as a ‘Scots Irish’. We’re either Scot, or we’re Irish. Liam on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

ScotsIrish were moved to Northern Ireland to populate it for the Crown, and/or Scots in southern Ireland who fled north due to persecution. I’ve heard both.

Akzed on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

NoDonkey on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

+1,000,000

mrsmwp on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

It just seems so damned intrusive. I have no problem with question #1 – the headcount – but the rest just annoys my libertarian side.

brak on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Yeah but most humans don’t look like a Bassett Hound/ Newfy mixes either.
upinak on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Whoa! That would be a strange one.

Chip on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I didn’t open it right away because I didn’t want to answer all the questions about how many bathrooms and such. When I did open it I was surprised all I had to do was tell who was living here. So I filled it out.

Rose on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Still waiting for the census forms…

Gotta love the spin of the census commercials with sick little X’s going to take the census and coming out healed! Yes, the government will heal you… really…

As for ethnicity? Too mixed to cite, so ‘American’ will have to do as I am purely American… and that is an honest answer. If they aren’t willing to put in a box for it, well that is the problem of race-based thinking, now, isn’t it?

ajacksonian on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Seems to me if you’re that hot and heavy about your ethnic origins, perhaps you should look into moving back there.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

So a reveler at a St. Patrick’s Day parade or someone enjoying the San Gennaro feast should look into moving back to Ireland or Italy?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

When repugnicans are expected to act like conservatives , there is no limit to what they can blow .

borntoraisehogs on April 1, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Suggestion, Race-Other — HUMAN

BottomLine5 on April 1, 2010 at 2:42 PM

IE, for one form, we got 4 different mailings–”you will receive it”, “you will receive it”, the form, “please mail back the form”. I’m half-expecting another postcard that says, “We’ve gotten the form. If you have any questions…”. I’m glad my tax dollars are being put to good use….. /facepalm

CatsGodot on April 1, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Yes, but all those forms saved or created 800K jobs.

angryed on April 1, 2010 at 2:42 PM

How can I teach my daughter that she should judge and be judged based on actions and accomplishments

If we judged people on actions and accomplishments, we wouldn’t have Barack Obama for a president, would we?

Oh that’s right. That would be a good thing. Never mind.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2010 at 2:42 PM

In fact, the most private question on this year’s form asks for an individual’s race and that question has been asked by every census since the 1790 census conducted under then-President George Washington.

That had a direct impact on representation because of the 3/5ths compromise. What purpose does it serve now? Just on principle, it’s a good idea for the government to avoid doing unnecessary things, even if they’re relatively benign.

RightOFLeft on April 1, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I mailed mine today with the hopes that no new additions or subtractions of the number of people living in my house will occur before tomorrow. It clearly asks how many people are living at the residence on April 1, 2010. I can’t believe they told me I was late in a notice they sent on March 23, 2010.

DanMan on April 1, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I just don’t trust the feds. Period. I’d rather send that information to a random American then Obama and his cronies. Im so sick and tired of the feds. The census is just another invasion into my home.

jawkneemusic on April 1, 2010 at 2:44 PM

He’s a Zoltar-American?

Akzed on April 1, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Heh. He will be if a census worker comes to my door.

mrsmwp on April 1, 2010 at 2:44 PM

So a reveler at a St. Patrick’s Day parade or someone enjoying the San Gennaro feast should look into moving back to Ireland or Italy?

ernesto on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Gotta tell you, most people I know who celebrate St. Patty’s Day aren’t even Irish.

I believe there’s a difference between celebrating a holiday from your family’s history once a year and the government dividing people into groups. But that’s just me.

amerpundit on April 1, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4