The 19th-century cartoonist Thomas Nast, who made the Republican Party an elephant and the Democratic Party a donkey, would, if he were alive today, have reason to draw the Tea Party as a paper tiger.In truth Beck, Bachmann, et al. only decried portions of the census that had to do with race. And they complained about the intrusiveness of the effort. Some have called for Americans to therefore leave portions of it blank. But none of them ever advocated boycotting the thing in its entirety.
At least if the Great Census Panic of 2010 is any indication.
Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and others in the Tea Party's starting lineup have warned Americans about the evils of the census, and many activists have called for a boycott. This prompted fears among Republicans that they would lose seats in Congress if conservatives refused to be counted, and Karl Rove took to the airwaves this week to urge compliance.
He could have saved his breath. There's evidence that this Tea Party rebellion is a bust.
That's how it looks based on a Washington Post analysis of census data. I asked The Post's database guru, Dan Keating, to break down the census response rates so far this year and to determine whether Republican counties were lagging in their census returns.
He found that, as of Thursday, counties that went for John McCain in 2008 were returning census forms at a slightly higher rate than counties that went for Barack Obama: 62.4 percent to 62.0 percent.
And who are those "many activists" who "called for a boycott"? We aren't told. Milbank would just as soon not go there. Odd.
But you might find this interesting - if Milbank wouldn't:
My guess is, and it's only a guess, those "hipsters" aren't Sarah Palin supporters. In fact, I'd venture a another guess and say they'd support Lil Wayne for president before they would vote for Palin.
So how does that fit into Milbank's narrative?
But rational thought was never part of the equation anyway.
So ... You right-wing knuckledraggers and teabaggers who thought you could stop the federal Census - Take That!
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Here's how the New York Times twists the facts to allow Dana Milbank to reach his eye-popping and boneheaded conclusion about conservatives:
"Glenn Beck and Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, are among the conservatives who have urged Americans to respond only to the household count question. In response, some Republicans on the House subcommittee that oversees the census issued a statement saying that a boycott was “illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country.”[my emphasis]
To leave questions unanswered is tantamount to a boycott.