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Monday, January 04, 2016

Feds Go Limp On The Bundys

by JASmius

I think local law enforcement, and eventually the feds, might have something to say about that. And that is clearly what Ammon Bundy is going for with this move, creating an armed showdown with really, really bad PR optics for the federal government if Bundy and his group can force them into a violent crackdown. And scoring a propaganda victory if, as a year and a half ago on his dad's Nevada ranch, he succeeds in getting the government to back off, even temporarily.

The question, though, is whether that is how the American public would see and interpret such an incident.

- Me, yesterday

In the climactic battle scene of X-Men III: The Last Stand (Except For The Three Lineal Sequels That Follow It), Magneto tries to take away all the soldiers' guns and rifles and mortars and other weapons only to discover that none of them are metal.  "Plastic," Erik Lehnsherr murmurs to himself, "they've learned."

So, after 2014's First Battle Of Bundy Hill, have the feds:

[T]hough the Bundys are involved in the Oregon occupation, the scene can hardly be described as a standoff. The twenty or so militants [note that's the same nomenclature the media uses to describe Islamic jihadists] at the refuge come and go as they please. No police were apparent Sunday anywhere between Burns and the thirty-mile drive to the refuge.

What happens if you throw an armed, pitched, last-stand battle - a twenty-first century Lexington and Concord - with the Obama Regime and they don't show up?  Well, for starters, the Bundys are making themselves look both pathetic and irrelevant.  This gets back to the disconnect between the injustice done to the Hammonds and Ammon Bundy's stunt that I discussed yesterday.  To make this a compelling stand for freedom and liberty, the father and son ranchers who are de facto political prisoners of the federal government have to be on board with it.

They're not, however - and want the Bundys to go away because they fear it will further damage their case:

A family friend who asked not to be publicly identified told The Oregonian/OregonLive that Dwight Hammond Jr., seventy-three, and Steven Hammond, forty-six, left Harney County over the weekend to report. He said they were traveling to California. …

The Hammonds have said through their attorneys that Ammon Bundy doesn’t speak for them. That didn’t stop Cliven Bundy, who demanded by letter that Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward take Hammond men into protective custody to shield them from reporting for prison. Bundy engaged in his own standoff last year when federal agents tried to seize his cattle.

Oh, but the Bundy occupation of the Malheur Natonal Wildlife Refuge center must be rallying OTHER patriots to the cause, right?

Nope - and for the same reason:

Militia groups through the day Sunday continued to distance themselves from the occupation through press statements.

“These actions were premeditated and carried out by a small group of persons who chose to carry out this takeover,” said 3% Idaho, whose president helped organized Saturday’s rally and parade.

Even some Tea Partiers are getting that the Bundy stunt is a fool's errand:

Second, just because there is a double standard does not mean any conservatives should be cheering the one when opposing the other. I’m pro-life, but I’m not going to cheer someone shooting up an abortion clinic. I support the sell off of federal land and giving priority water and land use rights to farmers. But I’m not going to cheer taking over a park visitor center or threatening marshals.

There are nuances to many situations some people have a vested interest in treating as binary, pitting American against American. While I’m sympathetic to the concerns of those in Oregon, I’d no more cheer on their lawbreaking than I would cheer on the law breaking of leftwing hoodlums trying to block abortion votes in Texas or union reform votes in Wisconsin.

Third, for those on the right hailing these guys, there is a pretty big and distinct difference between armed protest and unarmed protest. Based on media reports, these guys are not only armed, but threatening violence. I’m not going to be cheering these guys. The media will always treat the leftwing protestors more sympathetically. But adding arms and threats of bodily harm make this something more. No, I will not use the word terrorism for it because it is not terrorism. But it certainly is an unlawful, armed protest for which no one should be rooting.

Ammon Bundy and his group don't matter.  They're irrelevant.  Left to wither on the vine until they give up and go home.  And the only way they can make themselves relevant is by personifying precisely the leftwingnut caricature and stereotype of American patriots.  And that will damage the cause for which they claim to stand.

So I concluded yesterday, so I conclude today: "[S]tanding up" and "Fight! Fight! Fight!" is all fine and good, and We the People absolutely should do so - but we have to do so wisely and intelligently. The Second Battle of Bundy Hill is the propaganda equivalent of sticking one's head in the proverbial lion's mouth after shampooing in Heinz-57 sauce.

Go home, Mr. Bundy, before this gets any more embarrassing.

UPDATE: Still not convinced?  Here's Ted Cruz's recommendation:

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Monday called for armed protesters who occupied a federal building in Oregon to “stand down peaceably.”

“Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds,” Cruz told reporters in Iowa. “But we don’t have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence against others. So it is our hope that the protesters there will stand down peaceably, that there will not be a violent confrontation.”

Cruz added that “our prayers” are with members of law enforcement addressing the standoff, which started Saturday after a group of protesters seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters.

I can hear the retort now: "I don't care what Ted Cruz thinks, this is what I think, and I'm with Ammon Bundy all the way!!!"  Whatever, dude.

And then there's the shocking lack of interest in the Second Battle of Bundy Hill on the part of....the Obama White House.  Folks, if the American dictator can't rouse himself sufficiently to use the Bundy stunt to smear the GOP, that is a level of irrelevance nobody has ever reached before, short of quantum tunneling out of the spacetime continuum altogether.

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