"Cliven Bundy is not a hero; he's not a victim. He's a guy who got away with breaking the law for 20 years." –Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston"But ... IOKIYAR
Call it "individualism" or "libertarianism" or whatever you want, but those who declare themselves a Republic of One and raise their own flags are in a very literal sense being unpatriotic.Read "Koch brothers' AFP".
That's why I'm alarmed by the support in many conservative precincts for the Nevada scofflaws who have been exploiting public lands for private purposes and refuse to pay for the privilege because they choose not to "recognize" the authority of the United States. Totally aside from the double standards involved in expecting kid-glove treatment of one set of lawbreakers as opposed to poorer and perhaps darker criminal suspects, fans of the Bundys are encouraging those who claim a right to wage armed revolutionary war towards their obligations as Americans. It makes me really crazy when such people are described as "superpatriots." Nothing could be more contrary to the truth.
The details of the Bundy case have gotten a lot of attention at conservative sites, but the details really don't matter. Bundy has a baroque claim that the United States has no legal right to grazing land in Nevada; for over a decade, every court has summarily disagreed. It's federal land whether Bundy likes it or not, and Bundy has refused for years to pay standard grazing fees—so a couple of weeks ago the feds finally decided to enforce the latest court order allowing them to confiscate Bundy's cattle if he didn't leave. The rest is just fluff, a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorizing that led to last week's armed standoff between federal agents and the vigilante army created by movement conservatives.
The fact that so many on the right are valorizing Bundy—or, at minimum, tiptoeing around his obvious nutbaggery—is a testament to the enduring power of Waco and Ruby Ridge among conservatives. The rest of us may barely remember them, but they're totemic events on the right, fueling Glenn-Beckian fantasies of black helicopters and jackbooted federal thugs for more than two decades now. Mainstream conservatives have pandered to this stuff for years because it was convenient, and that's brought them to where they are today: too scared to stand up to the vigilantes they created and speak the simple truth. They complain endlessly about President Obama's "lawlessness," but this is lawlessness. It's appalling that so many of them aren't merely afraid to plainly say so, but actively seem to be egging it on.I'm not going to rehash Ruby Ridge which was an FBI fuckup or Waco which didn't have to happen either.
Here's the deal - that land is our land which the feds administer for us and usually not very well, but Bundy is refusing to pay us for its use to his own profit. He's a lawbreaker, freeloader, and thief in the guise of a "patriot", in other words. an average wingnut teabagger.
Note to Bundy: Yo dude, ass, gas, or grass, nobody rides for free. Cough it the fuck up.
If it had been me in charge, I would have rounded up his cattle, sold them on the free market, and given him the change on his prison commissary account.
Further, I would have gone all Louis L'Amour on the fucking militia wannabes that gathered around him. Metaphorically speaking I'da flipped the loop off the hammer of my revolver and told 'em to open the ball. When the dust cleared, it would have been from them making tracks running away.
I know the feds don't want a shooting confrontation and that's why they returned his cows, but dammit, someone needs to take those fuckers on and settle it once and for all.