Gregg Rejects Obama Census Grab
New Hampshire Senator Jud Gregg removed himself from consideration as Commerce secretary. While his disagreement over the “stimulus” package may be the main reason–his stand on principle–the shenanigans that the Obama Administration is engaged in with the 2010 Census may have been the final straw. John Fund recently explained the danger with having the White House control the census and discussed the issue with Bruce Chapman, who directed the Census in the 1980s.
“The real issue is who directs the Census, the pros or the pols,” says Mr. Chapman. “You would think an administration that’s thumping its chest about respecting science would show a little respect for scientists in the statistical field.” He worries that a Census director reporting to a hyperpartisan such as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel increases the chances of a presidential order that would override the consensus of statisticians.
The Obama administration is downplaying how closely the White House will oversee the Census Bureau. But Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insists there is “historical precedent” for the Census director to be “working closely with the White House.”
For my Democratic friends, the words of Mississippi Republican Rep. Gregg Harper may provide some perspective:
How would you feel if this was [President Bush’s senior political adviser] Karl Rove and the Bush White House that was handling this census? It’s the same thing.
Michael Barone thinks the Gregg un-nomination may have shined a brighter spotlight on the Obama Census grab. Let’s hope so.
ADDENDUM: On a lighter note, we should keep in mind the rights of Imaginary-Americans.