In an attempt to usurp the constitution, Obama cynically named Republican Judd Gregg to head the Commerce department -- a brazen attempt to steal voting power for certain states and 'groups' within states. I blogged the whole thing here.
Not a day later, in a nasty coup, Obama attempted to seize control of the census - out of the non-partisan hands and into his money/power grubbing paws. Citing? Gregg's "conflict of interest". Now that's balls.
Either he is megalomaniacal or he thinks the American people are deeply and importantly stupid. Or Both.
Judd Gregg saw he was being ill used and he did something unique in Obamaland -- he did the right thing, Judd Gregg has withdrawn his name from
consideration as President Barack Obama's Commerce Secretary, a major
blow to President Hussein.
Everyone knows that it is possible to organize a Decennial Census in a way that benefits one party or another politically. One way to effectuate this otherwise unpalatable departure from the Census Bureau's two hundred year history of non-partisanship is to put the Bureau administratively under direction of the politicos in the White House. In reality that would be a sure invitation to cook the books on the highly consequential count of Americans.
Advocates argue that putting the 2010 Census under direct White
House control somehow assures a higher priority to its mission. This is
cynical. It puts a priority on manipulation of carefully derived Census
criteria. The only reason the White House would want to be involved is
in figuring out how to add more voting power to certain states and
groups within states.
Simply put, there is no excuse for this idea. it is not true that the Census Bureau has ever been under the direct management of the White House, and for good reason. Even if angels were in charge of the Executive Mansion, if the nation's premier statistical agency were placed under White House direction the danger to public trust would be enormous. The Decennial count is one of the few federal functions specifically described in the Constitution itself and must be operate above suspicion of politics.
I was Director of the Census from 1981 to '83 in the Reagan Administration. I always was made to feel conscious of the sound public servants who had preceded me and, regardless of who appointed them, defended the decennial count. . I have known directors from the Kennedy era (the estimable Richard Scaammon) to the G. W. Bush Administration (the very professional Louis Kincannon). I don't know anyone who cares for the integrity of the Bureau and its products who would desire to see the Census Bureau report directly to the White House.
Power flows from an accurate Census Count. Everyone involved for years has seen the count therefore a sacred trust. It must not be polluted with even a semblance of Presidential meddling.
UPDATE: Alyssa Lappen has an outstanding piece on this today: Obama's Census-ational Power Grab