WALKER AND THE CENSUS: Call him Governor Loki | WisCommunity

WALKER AND THE CENSUS: Call him Governor Loki

[img_assist|nid=38124|title=Census worker|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=300|height=278]In Norse mythology, Loki was the amoral troublemaker among the gods, causing chaos and disruption. Wisconsin's very own equivalent of the dark Norse god, Gov. Scott Walker, is following the Lokian pattern and so far doing great at the task of upsetting a growing majority of citizens, about his own policies but also about government in general.

Now there's more evidence that the Walker/Republican putsch against Wisconsin's middle class is echoing outward to cause further GOP-induced harm to the very concept of responsible, effective government. Here's the story:

Although the ten-year enumeration of the US population is now done collecting data in the field, the US Census Bureau continues with its usual, long-term surveys of social and economic issues, going door to door in Wisconsin and other states.

But an unusual problem suddenly has popped up, one that shows signs of driving a wedge between citizens and their government. 

According to sources in the Census Bureau's regional office, a number of Census workers knocking on doors in Wisconsin the past week have been turned away by residents who earlier agreed to participate in the years-long tracking surveys.

The reason? Residents say they are mad at government because of the anti-worker and anti-union measures Gov. Walker and his fellow Republicans have enacted in Madison. These folks simply aren't going to do business with "the government" as a result.

Never mind that the government that happens to run the Census survey is the federal government, and that the chief executive of that government, President Obama, has openly sympathized with the public union workers harmed by Walker's "budget emergency" legislation.

Being professionals and civil servants, Census workers can't get into the politics of this, so when a survey respondent says they are mad at Walker and are no longer going to cooperate, the Census workers aren't free to get into explaining the politics of the matter, or even the distinctions between what the state and federal governments are up to. They have no choice but to simply leave the premises, their assigned work unfulfilled and the survey itself thus made more problematic.

Of course, in general, conservatives are highly suspicious of the Census. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota even announced in 2009 that she and her family would refuse to fill out the standard Census form because it was "too intrusive" and "personal." She also erroneously charged that Census data would be collected by the now defunct and then controversial public interest organization ACORN.

Most citizens dismissed such nonsense and did their national duty (filling out the 10-year Census survey is a requirement under the law). But apparently, other reckless behavior by other Republican ideologues has indirectly managed to hurt data gathering.

Maybe the Census Bureau will figure out a way around this latest resistance from angry and not entirely informed citizens. Meanwhile, Governor Loki's mad machinations have -- inadvertently or advertently -- soured the milk, not just for state government, but government in general. 


March 16, 2011 - 1:43pm