03/06/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Judd Gregg To Control 2010 Census. And, Why Not Trade Lieberman for a New Hampshire Democrat?

Judd Gregg (R-NH), nominated to be Commerce Secretary, would, if confirmed, control the 2010 Census. Because of the enormous, decade-long, implication of this role, Gregg ought to be questioned in detail about it in his confirmation hearings.

I agree with the President about bipartisanship (actually, I agree more about transforming politics, but that is another subject), but the Census is rife with opportunities for political mischief, and Republicans have historically used it for just such purposes, jiggering themselves into Congressional majorities.

It appears as if Gregg is motivated to become an important cog in the Obama administration, and could be useful in crafting bipartisan support. And, I like there being a deficit hawk in White House counsels. But, when it comes to the nitty-gritty of grassroots politics, where will his loyalties be?

Did we work so hard, raise so much money, spend so much time sleeping on floors and couches, trudge through the snows of Iowa, toil in the barrios, to give a rightwing conservative Republican control over the 2010 Census when history has shown that Republicans consider the Census just another dataset that can be altered to suit their political needs?

Perhaps the President retains his prerogative to appoint the Census Bureau Director himself. That would be comforting. On what basis should we feel comfortable trusting Judd Gregg to do so?

This is a call for clarification.

Gregg's Replacement: In order not to upset the applecart in the Senate, the Governor of New Hampshire has apparently agreed to appoint a Republican to Gregg's vacated seat. But, there is a better deal for both sides.

This is the big leagues, so why not a trade: Let the New Hampshire Governor appoint a Democrat and agree to trade them Joe Lieberman from the Democratic Caucus.

The Democrats could get a good Democrat with integrity. The Republicans get Joe Lieberman. The balance of power would be unchanged.