And so it was that Michele launched a favorite wingnut paranoiac meme -- the US census is just a ruse to round up conservatives in put them in prison camps:
Bachmann: Take this into consideration. If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that's how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I'm not saying that's what the Administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the census bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up and put the Japanese in internment camps.
Now I'm not saying that Michele Bachmann is an insane cannibal serial killer. I'm just saying that insane cannibal serial killers are known to exist, so the possibility that Michele Bachmann is an insane cannibal serial killer is just something that we should consider. Just to be on the safe side. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance against insane cannibal serial killers. I mean, it only stands to reason...
And of course, the wingnut masses did consider the possibility that the census was a big liberal plot to start some sort of conservative roundup -- some even took it as fact. How does this actually help anyone? Well, if your name and title aren't "Rep. Michele Bachmann," nobody. But if you happen to be the sole lunatic in that category, it helps a lot. She's a favorite guest on talk radio and FOX News, so it feeds her attention-whore cravings. I won't comment on how it might also feed her insane cannibal serial killer cravings, because... well, we'll just let that one lie. It pays not to make enemies of insane cannibal serial killers.
Still, it's not like Shelly's whackjobbery has been without effect. Agence France-Presse reports that attacks on census workers have nearly tripled since the 2000 census. "Some of those are minor things. An angry duck attacked one of our enumerators and she has bites on one of her ankles, she will survive," said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. "Others are horrible events, there have been carjackings, there have been assaults, folks have been shot at."
In June, the Census Bureau said it had counted 132 incidents where a weapon was pulled or the census taker was threatened with one; 88 in which the census taker was physically assaulted, and around a dozen in which surveyors were held against their will.
Still, Groves pointed out that only a tiny percentage of census workers encountered violence.
"We have knocked about 100 million times on doors... and we have 500 of those 100 million that produced bad outcomes."
500 out of 100 million is still way too many. Thanks Shelly, great freakin' job.
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