Cliven Bundy Betrays Rightbloggers, Forcing Them to Denounce (Some of) His Crazy Ideas
Back at the libertarian corral, Reason's J.D. Tuccille was mad that liberals like Jonathan Chait were laughing at the seemingly natural tendency of conservatives who are crazy about Big Gummint to also be crazy about race. "Maybe it's because the cameras and journalists focus on one loudmouth on horseback," harrumphed Tuccille, "even as representatives of nine state governments meet in Salt Lake City at the Legislative Summit on the Transfer of Public Lands." See, it's Fox News' job -- which it did remarkably well before the fall -- to focus non-stop on the "loudmouth on horseback," while the MSM types are supposed to mainstream the states'-rights argument behind it by covering the suits. Don't you statists know anything about journalism?
Mark Steyn tried to turn Bundy into a Bizarro-world discrimination case: If you abandon Bundy because he's a racist nut, he argued, you're being prejudiced against racist nuts.
Haw haw... arugula! (Via.)
"Let's stipulate that Cliven Bundy is a racist... So what?" asked Steyn. "Does that make criticizing the Bureau of Land Management 'racist' or 'homophobic'?" That would be a great argument, if Bundy were being discriminated against for his beliefs in a court of law, rather than in the court of public opinion. Nonetheless Steyn went on as if public sympathy for the crazy rancher were mandated by the Civil Rights Act: "If you run a red light and hit a pedestrian, it makes no difference whether the pedestrian you hit is Nelson Mandela or Cliven Bundy. Or at least it shouldn't: one of the basic building blocks of civilized society is equality before the law..."
Eventually Steyn seemed to realize the futility of his cause, and descended into wingnut bathos: English-speaking people used to resist tyranny, he sniffled, but "as the Bundy example illustrates, a free people will cheerfully abandon bedrock principles like equality before the law if state power is being used to torment a racist or a homophobe or someone whose very presence offends against the citizenry's sense of its own virtue." We have sometimes been in sympathy with Steyn, but now, for the first time, we actually feel sorry for him.
We salute those rightbloggers who stood forthrightly with the madman Bundy before, and by God stand with him now. Kerodin III, for example, the comic-book villain who declared two weeks back that "the war is begun" and advised his comrades to "give your local BLM detachment something to occupy their time" to give Bundy cover, this week angrily told the Republicans who'd abandoned Bundy, "For everyone who cut and run - thank you. You have revealed who you are... we will remember." You won't be getting this absentee ballot from the Republic of KerodinIIIastan!
A few cowboys insisted Bundy wasn't racist at all and that the New York Times was lying about what he said. "The reality is the mainstream media is attempting yet another sneaky psy-op geared to further demonize the rancher and is relying on its favorite propaganda tactic: painting the opposition as racist," decreed Bundy's pal Alex Jones. When the Times released tapes of Bundy spewing his bilge, some insisted that sure, the short version looks bad, but the extended club mix version of Bundy's ramblings exonerated him.
What the liberals didn't want you to know, said Kyle Becker of Independent Journal Review, is that in the long version Bundy "says that there has been 'progress' made and no one would want to go back to the days of slavery, but he indelicately wonders if some would be better off if they were 'picking cotton.'" Wonder, emphasized -- and how can there be anything bad about wonder? "Racially insensitive," admitted Becker, "but he's not saying that blacks are worse than whites." Though presumably there's no need to wonder whether whites on welfare would be better off picking cotton on a plantation, for some reason having nothing to do with race.
"Are the remarks controversial?" asked The Conservative Tree House. "Yes, however - No more so than the remarks made by Shirley Sherrod." They refer to statements that were actually trimmed to twist their meaning... by rightwing activist Andrew Breitbart. Give them credit for chutzpah, anyway.
Others found a few black people who were pro-Bundy, and ran with them to the camera crying, Look, some The Negroes agree with us!
One Kira Davis said in a well-circulated video that while Bundy's point was "awkwardly-made," that's okay because "we have basically enslaved ourselves all over again to the government by depending on them for so much" -- except without the enforced and uncompensated servitude, whippings, status as property, etc. While Davis admitted Bundy was "probably a bigot," she still accepted the "veracity" of his case: "We could talk about the legalities and the technicalities and we can talk about the taxes he owes," she said, "or we can talk about all of the things in this country that have been legal that were unjust -- slavery was legal, and Jim Crow was legal," and thus Cliven Bundy, because he has to pay grazing fees, has something in common with slaves (except for the enforced and uncompensated servitude, whippings, status as property, etc.).
Among the other black Bundyites:
• Tea Party fixture Lloyd Marcus, who said his relatives "lived wasted lives because they were addicted to government dependency. They were Democrat party slaves... robbed of the self-esteem, pride and joy of individual achievement," and so he agreed with Bundy, we guess, that it might be better to be owned by white people than affiliated with the wrong political party;
• The black guy who's hanging around the Bundy compound ("Bottom line is that we are all slaves in this waning republic, no matter our skin color");
• Niger Innis, son of black conservative Roy Innis, who claimed to have successfully explained to Bundy why slavery was bad -- "it was almost like a lightbulb went on," said Innis -- but generally approved of his statement, which Innis said was just "clumsily" expressed: "What would've been better is if Cliven had said, 'Look, there are a number of blacks and Latinos and poor whites now that are involved in a real slavery,'" etc;
There -- that's five, and there may be dozens more! Check and mate, libtards!
The funny thing -- or the depressing thing, depending on how you look at it -- is that while many of the brethren understood the necessity of decoupling from Bundy because his comments had made him toxic, they still clung to the old Confederate dream of threatening violence against the federal government and demanding a separate legal standard with impunity.
We suppose the next time a posse comitatus nut summons shooters to a confrontation with ZOG, he will first have been briefed by a public relations team. The question is whether this will make any difference. For one thing, despite general rightblogger claims that Bundy is, or at least was, "AMERICA'S NEWEST HERO," there was never any evidence of it; the only polls on Bundy were run by rightblogger outlets, e.g. "Are you Team Cliven Bundy or Team Federal Government?" asked by Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. Bundy did well among that constituency, as would anyone with a grudge against the government. But among ordinary people -- who unlike Bundy think the United States exists and expects its laws to be observed -- the idea that a mooching rancher can and should hold off John Law with his firepower might not go down so well.
But that discussion has been tabled because Bundy couldn't keep his trap shut about black people. And though for the moment it looks embarrassing to rightbloggers, considering how important neo-Confederate ideas are to their movement and how unkind long public scrutiny would be to them, it may be that with Bundy's fall they actually dodged a bullet.