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“Cliven Bundy Is No Hero”: Republicans Are Mistaking The Angry Nevada Debtor For A States’ Rights Crusader

It’s no surprise that Republicans are jumping on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s bandwagon. They’re desperate for any issue that will help them push propaganda designed to attract votes.

Some are painting the Bundy rebellion as a states’ rights issue. It’s not. The federal government isn’t threatening people’s freedoms nor Nevada’s sovereignty. Nevada isn’t fighting the Bureau of Land Management to reclaim the land. Bundy got himself in hot water because he refused to pay his $1 million grazing bill.

It’s not like Bundy didn’t know that the bureau was going to his confiscate his cattle. His dispute with them is 20 years old. He had plenty of opportunities to pursue legal action. The government never denied him due process.

A law abiding citizen would have respectfully paid his debt, but Bundy believes he’s special and that the rules don’t apply to him. He didn’t like the outcome, so he resorted to terrorist tactics, organizing a 1,000 person, gun posse to threaten federal agents and make his point.

Bundy won applause from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Republican Sen. Dean Heller. Fox News host Sean Hannity hailed him as a capitalist hero, and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said he’d make a good politician. Florida Republican House candidate Joshua Black said President Obama should be arrested and hung for treason. Texas Senate candidate Chris Mapp said ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on their land.

This talk is politically useful. It plays on conservatives’ distrust of government. The Pew Center for People and the Press found that 65 percent of Democrats have a favorable view of the government, but only 23 percent of Republicans think the same.

The party admires Bundy, but they have shown no such sentiment when it comes to ranchers fighting against the Keystone XL pipeline. Randy Thompson and hundreds of other Nebraskan have been resisting TransCanada’s efforts to lease their property. The GOP isn’t hailing them as champions of property rights. They’re silent because these ranchers are fighting against their big money, big business supporters.

Conservatives would be better off seeing this issue for what it is: an angry debtor who pulled out his gun because he didn’t like the fact that he had to pay up. They won’t be better off believing the GOP means what it says.

 

By: Jamie Chandler, U. S. News and World Report, April 16, 2014

April 18, 2014 - Posted by | GOP | , , , , , , , ,

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