This Bundy Thing

Ken AshfordRepublicans, Right Wing and Inept Media, Rightwing Extremism/ViolenceLeave a Comment

The story of the Bundy ranch has slowly made its way into mainstream media circles.  It started out on the absolute fringes of the far right, then worked its way to Fox News.  And now, others are picking it up.

It's troubling, not so much for what is actually going on, but because it shows the absolute lack of morality of the right wing — yes, even the "reasonable" right wing, who caters to the fascist right.

For those not in the know, the story isn't complicated.  For 20 years the federal government has fined Cliven Bundy for grazing his cattle on protected federal land. And for 20 years Bundy has refused to pay. Last month this dance came to an end when the Bureau of Land Management sent Bundy a letter informing him that it intended to “impound his trespass cattle” that have been roaming on federal property. It closed off hundreds of thousands of acres, and earlier this month, moved to round up Bundy’s cows.

Protesters challenged the BLM, and Bundy’s son was arrested for “refusing to disperse” from the area in question. Bundy’s cause caught fire on right-wing blogs, egged on by Fox News and conservative outlets like the National Review, which have held the confiscation as a dangerous intrusion on private property rights, despite Bundy’s lawbreaking. Defending his decision, the rancher told one right-wing radio host that he’s ready to take drastic steps beyond refusing to pay:

I told you that I did the legal thing and the political thing and the media thing and it seems like it's down to “we the people” if we're going to get it done. You know the things like militias. You know, I haven't called no militia or anything like that, but hey, it looks like that's where we're at.

To that end, hundreds of people from outside Nevada—including “militia” armed with rifles and ammunition—have joined his protests, going as far as to set up camp and confront federal officials with brandished weapons. The federal government blinked, and the Bureau of Land Management announced an abrupt end to its cattle roundup, hoping to avoid violence and further confrontations.

This story amazes me. 

What we have here is, quite simply, a lawbreaker.  He's also one of the peope who can rightly be called a "taker" in Mitt Romney language — someone who literally lives off the federal government and contributes nothing.

Other ranchers pay their grzaing fees.  What makes Bundy special?

The notion that Fox News and others (Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul) would embrace this guy is scary. Right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaudactual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials.

And to those who say there isn't racism on the right, does anyone think this would be happening if the ranchers were black?

Anyway, for the crazed nutjobs on the right (some of whom were wishing for a Waco, you can tell), this is only the beginning [AFTERTHOUGHT: I neglected to mention how these guys put women and children up front in the hopes that the U.S. federal government would shoot and kill them].  Let's hope that before they start bombing federal buildings, etc., Fox News and others realize that we are a nation of laws.  Some of which, yes, you might dislike.