On the way home, I made the mistake of listening to Rush again (in the morning in the car, I sometimes listen to a local guy named Hoppy Kerchival, who is a conservative, but not of the insane crazy variety), and it seems Rush was off for a long weekend and some guy named Mark Davis was filling in. After listening for ten minutes, I began to truly appreciate how deep the wingnut bench really is. I’ve never even heard of this guy before, and yet here he was, promoted to the big leagues for a cup of coffee. Rush skipped past the c-list nutters at NRO, skipped over his normal stand-ins, and like a good talent scout, picked this guy up from the right-wing farm team. He was as wingnutty as a Red State diary, and the ease with which the nonsense rolled off his tongue was amazing.
At any rate, the issue for the day was the dreaded census (before I move on, I want to state that I do not remember any census angst in with 1989 or 1999, so I’m wondering if this is a new development or just found its origin in talk radio and has now bubbled up into the mainstream of wingnut thought). With no sense of irony, he then referred to Michelle Bachmann as a rising star of the Republican party and a long discussion followed regarding the intrusive questions in the census and how Republicans were wrong to cite a right to privacy because there is no right to privacy and besides, that would be dangerous anyway because of Roe v. Wade. Bork was then cited.
What followed then was an “intellectual exercise” (his phrase) on how to really tell off those census workers without breaking the law. The very first caller, with obligatory southern drawl, burst out of the gate with a real gem:
“I’m going to tell them how many people are in the household and then plead the fifth.”
Now, putting aside that even WingNut Daily, the gold standard for right wing fact-checking, has noted that no one has ever been prosecuted for not answering these questions, most of would laugh at this scenario:
Census Worker: Which FUEL is used MOST for heating this house, apartment, or mobile home?
Wingnut: I plead the fifth.
And yes, that is one of the actual questions (.pdf here).
Instead of laughing, though, our intrepid host then spent five minutes deciding that the portion of the fifth amendment that states “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” does, in fact, when discussing liberty, provide Americans with a constitutionally sound method for refusing to answer census questions by pleading the fifth. What is liberty if not the right to not answer questions, asked our host.
A later caller decided that asking these “intrusive” questions constituted an unreasonable search and seizure as described in the 4th Amendment. I’m dying to hear Scalia and Alito’s thoughts on that one.
Up Next: How to oppose gay marriage without having a homophobic thought. Mark Davis says it can be done, and he has done it his whole life.