Remember how Republicans were frantically attempting to get Michelle Bachmann to tone down the census conspiracy theories because they needed as many anti-government conservatives as possible to turn in their census forms to ensure maximum federal funding and conservative representation in Congress? (Yes, let that paradox sink in for a bit.)
Well, it looks like it may not have worked: per Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, distrust of the census could end up costing Republican seats:
Contrary to historical trends, the Houston Chronicle notes one of the toughest challenges facing U.S. Census officials is "not from counting the traditionally undercounted groups such as African-Americans and Latinos. Instead, a new and growing threat to an accurate national head count is coming from anti-government conservatives who may not fill out their forms to protest against 'Big Brother' in Washington."
And let's delve into that Houston Chronicle article in a bit more detail:
As of Friday afternoon, only 27 percent of Texas households had filled in and returned their census forms — well below the national average of 34 percent — according to computer data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In Harris County, the response rate is 23 percent. Houston's returns are running at 21 percent.
Meanwhile, Democrats are the political group most motivated to complete the census and fill it back--and Republicans are following leaders like Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann in refusing to fill it out. Some conservative counties in Texas have a response rate as low as five percent:
Polling by the Pew Research Center finds Democrats are more likely than other Americans to view the census as “very important” to the country. Seventy-six percent of Democrats call this year's count very important, compared with 61 percent of Republicans and independents.
In Texas, some of the counties with the lowest census return rates are among the state's most Republican, including Briscoe County in the Panhandle, 8 percent; King County, near Lubbock, 5 percent; Culberson County, near El Paso, 11 percent; and Newton County, in deep East Texas, 18 percent. Most other counties near the bottom of the list are heavily Hispanic counties along the Texas-Mexico border.
And as sorry as some of us may feel that Texas would not be receiving its fair share of Congressional seats or federal dollars, I'm sure we would feel much worse if the Governor weren't an ardent secessionist.
But the real question is, when did the GOP abandon all sense of long-term perspective just to ensure maximum fury regarding the here and now?