This Is Just Outrageous, Even for Fox

Sean Hannity gave two segments last night to Cliven Bundy, and he took the opportunity to refer to the U. S. as a “foreign government.”

Why is Fox News championing this delusional lunatic?  Put him in jail or in an insane asylum, but don’t put him on TV.

Sean also kept asking how Bundy could owe the feds a million dollars in grazing fees, saying cows can’t eat that much, either not knowing or pretending not to know that Bundy owes court-assessed daily penalties as well.

Why Are Conservatives Making a Crazy Criminal a Hero?

“Pretty soon, there was an armed standoff as men with guns assembled around the ranch. The BLM people wisely backed off, and there was a great cock-a-doodle-do’ing all over the right, because Cliven Bundy’s inalienable right to get something for nothing from the rest of us had been upheld with Second Amendment enthusiasm. Bear in mind that Bundy’s entire position is that he can not pay his bills, and that he can ignore a federal judge, because he feels the federal government is illegitimate. … This is conservatism — and, therefore, Republicanism — playing footsie with sedition. This is not the first time, either.

“Republican politicians, especially in the west, have slow-danced with the militia movement for quite some time. A Republican congresswoman named Helen Chenoweth was so close to the movement that, after Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, she pronounced herself upset that the government had failed truly to understand the militia movement.

“In the states, the Republican party has embraced the traditional historical basis for this movement, having actively discussed — and, in some cases, tried to implement — the doctrine of nullification. This, of course, was the fundamental theoretical basis for the greatest act of sedition of all time, and one for which too many people seem overly nostalgic these days. The difference between the present moment, and the days when Helen Chenoweth was riding the range, of course, is the fact that there is a powerful and loud right-wing media infrastructure at the disposal of the people peddling this constitutional poison. Americans For Prosperity jumped right on the Bundy case. Of course, AFP — and the Koch brothers who fund it — isn’t in this for airy philosophical debates on the role of government. They’re in it to break the control of the federal government over the lands that they want to exploit for their own profit, and they are willing to help engage the single most destructive political theory in the country’s history to help them do it. It is reckless and dangerous, and anybody who gets used by these people is a sap. And useful idiots, like Sean Hannity and all the someones like him, are going to get somebody killed behind this stuff.”

“Range War in Nevada,” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

I get party differences over abortion, gay marriage, taxing and spending, etc.  But why shouldn’t D’s and R’s agree that a man who refuses to pay his grazing fees is a criminal and should be punished, not celebrated?  I thought the GOP was supposed to be the “law and order” party.  Why are they all freaked out about food stamp fraud, but don’t want this guy to pay the million bucks he owes?

From John Birch to Tea Party

The John Birch Society was founded in 1958, and six years later the GOP nominated Barry Goldwater.

Maybe we’re in the middle of a similar six-year cycle.  The Tea Party first elected candidates in 2010, and one of theirs might get the 2016 GOP nomination.

I’ve also been thinking about how the John Birch Society, despite being denounced by the GOP establishment, is still exerting a lot of power, both money and candidate-wise.  David and Charles Koch’s father, Fred, didn’t just found Koch Industries, he was also a co-founder of the JBS.  And Rand Paul’s father, Ron, has endorsed the JBS and spoken at their events, including giving the keynote at their 50th anniversary in 2008.  Scary stuff.

Quote of the Day

“I totally get the very correct desire to avoid violence. But allowing a bunch of militia freaks and gun-toting thugs to run off federal agents trying to act against a rancher who’s refused to pay grazing fees for using federal lands for 20 years seems like a very, very bad idea.”

Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo

Amen to that.  Fox News has really outdone themselves on this story.  Sean Hannity didn’t challenge Cliven Bundy when he claimed his cattle aren’t on federal land.  That’s because in Bundy’s alternative universe, there’s no such thing as federal ownership of land.  I doubt Sean would be so sympathetic if a bunch of  young African-Americans took over a federal building in New York City.  But when it’s an old white guy in a cowboy hat, Sean doesn’t call him out for the criminal he is.