Or, Gambling on Violence in Nevada
Fortunately, it appears that the so called right-wing militia uprising in Nevada has been peacefully resolved. I am appalled that, at least in appearance, the militia has been successful in getting the federal government to back down. From the point of view of the feds, backing down in the face of potential violence over grazing fees…grazing fees!…was the sensible decision. They were correct. A fine tyrannical dictatorship they turned out to be! Juxtapose this with a man, Bundy, who was willing to let people risk their lives, die, and create a national rift all so he could welch on some grazing fees.
I fear, however, that this will encourage future actions on the part of the armed right wing, who really need no excuse for whacko behavior. I also fear that this greedy little skinflint, who simply wanted to steal from taxpayers by extracting resources from publicly owned lands without paying for it. How does such a pathetic figure become a right wing hero? I guess Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin didn’t work out as planned. In fact, the answer is that he was framed as a hero by the right-wing, anti-government noise machine. Without a FoxNoisebox, this issue would have been nothing more than a pathetic footnote in the news. This media grasps onto any opportunity, no matter how desperate, to press their so called “small government” agenda. Placing a fool on a pedestal and hailing him as the personification of freedom is a peculiar art form of the right wing media. So it’s no surprise that this local conflict has not only been promoted as a modern day Lexington and Concord by the wingnut right, but that it may have even been perpetuated by a defacto call to arms on the part of the right wing press.
FoxNoise and the frothing right has whipped this petty grazing dispute into a lather. How seemingly disappointed they appear that this issue did not end in violence. Their anti-government hyperbole was boiling, defining the militia members as freedom fighters (they were idiots) and this conflict as a potential “shot heard around the world” and a rebirth of the spirit of ’76…because the Founding Fathers would have been outraged that Bundy was expected to pay for services. Now that it is clear that the issue will most likely be resolved bureaucratically rather than violently, the right media will have to find other fools to demagogue with their anti-government bile.
I would like to add, however, that these same talking heads who were applauding and prodding the armed militia who were pointing their military style weapons at fellow citizens, were the same advocates calling on the government to crush and violently suppress peaceful, unarmed Occupy activists who were doing nothing more than camping on public lands. Imagine, if you will, a liberal activist allowing his cattle to graze on private or corporate land without paying for it. The “big government right” would have demanded immediate arrest. Property rights must be defended…just not public property.
The right wing is no more for “small government” than a fish wants less water.