Instapundit wonders, “what if Karl Rove was in charge of the census?”
From Jennifer Rubin @ PajamasMedia:
The White House has proposed that the director of the Census, a Commerce Department employee, report to the White House. The White House contends this is no big deal. Nevertheless, the move followed a wave of protest from liberal civil rights groups concerned that they might not succeed in maximizing the count of minority voters if the census remained under the auspices of Republican Judd Gregg, the Commerce secretary nominee.
It is ironic that the Obama team selected Republican Judd Gregg to head the Commerce Department as an intended symbol of the Obama administration’s commitment to New Politics. This was supposedly evidence of a less cravenly political style of governing than what many contended was par for the course in the Bush years. Now, it appears the Obama team intends to strip Gregg of real authority over this key responsibility, giving lie to the notion that the Obama administration believes in post-partisanship.
Had this stunt been attempted during the Bush years one certainly would have heard a hue and cry from good government groups, the media, and academics. We no doubt would have heard a chorus of opposition: “The professional public servants are being shunted aside!” And from those so aghast about attempts to suppress or manipulate voting, we would have expected the shrieks: “This is an attempt to politicize the census and stack the deck for reapportionment!” It is not hard to imagine the reaction if the Bush White House had suggested that a supposedly unbiased statistical undertaking should be directed by, say, Karl Rove.
We told you President Loophole knows you’re all retarded. There are only, political reasons behind this maneuver.
UPDATE: John Fund says
President Obama said in his inaugural address that he planned to “restore science to its rightful place” in government. That’s a worthy goal. But statisticians at the Commerce Department didn’t think it would mean having the director of next year’s Census report directly to the White House rather than to the Commerce secretary, as is customary. “There’s only one reason to have that high level of White House involvement,” a career professional at the Census Bureau tells me. “And it’s called politics, not science.”
UPDATE: Judd has backed away from Obama’s unprecedented powerplay and removed his name, which is a refreshing change because he did it without even having tax issues or corruption charges.