The Nevada rancher at the center of a standoff with the federal government is “an unapologetic freeloader,” but the feds are appallingly bad landlords. That’s the take of Montana Public Service Commissioner Travis Kavulla (R-Great Falls) writing for National Review. Meanwhile, former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) calls Clive Bundy a “grifter.” National Review’s Andrew McCarthy likely sums it up best with this: “Much of the public is not going to see the Feds versus Bundy as the Law versus the Outlaw; we are more apt to see it as the Bully versus the Small Fry.”
No matter what your take is, couldn’t we settle this all with an amnesty bill…for ranchers? All this comes as a new poll shows more labor union members than gun owners fear their government. That and more is below.
Here’s an excerpt from Travis Kavulla’s piece in National Review- Bundy’s Lessons: He’s an unapologetic freeloader, but the BLM and the feds are appallingly bad landlords
This is not the way it was meant to be. While national parks and wildernesses were consciously set aside for recreation and the preservation of their natural state, BLM and National Forest lands were meant to be productive. Too often, if someone like Bundy is not allowed to graze his cattle, then no one is — even if he is willing to cut a check for the lease.
Bundy has argued that the property under control of the BLM really belongs to the state government of Nevada. This is a dubious argument regarding the law as it is, but as a policy suggestion, it’s not so bad. States have an incentive to make productive use of these lands, and they are closer to the people those land-use decisions affect. And there are also solid legal arguments for it. As a recent Federalist Society paper has pointed out, it seemed the agreements under which western states were admitted to the union intended for many of these lands to be turned over to state or private ownership.
That wouldn’t give Bundy a right to be a freeloader. But it would surely make a lot more sense than having the feds let the commons lie idle.
Andrew McCarthy: Bundy and The Rule of Law
The underlying assumption of our belief in the rule of law is that we are talking about law in the American tradition: provisions that obligate everyone equally and that are enforced dispassionately by a chief executive who takes seriously the constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully. The rule of law is not the whim of a man who himself serially violates the laws he finds inconvenient and who, under a distortion of the “prosecutorial discretion” doctrine, gives a pass to his favored constituencies while punishing his opposition. The rule of law is the orderly foundation of our free society; when it devolves into a vexatious process by which ideologues wielding power undertake to tame those whose activities they disfavor, it is not the rule of law anymore.
The legitimacy of law and our commitment to uphold it hinge on our sense that the law and its execution are just. As John Hinderaker points out, concerns about the desert tortoise—the predicate for taking lawful action against Nevada ranchers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—turn out to be pretextual. The ideologues who run the government only want to enforce the ESA against a disfavored class, the ranchers. If you’re a well-connected Democrat who needs similar land for a solar project, the Obama administration will not only refrain from enforcing the ESA against you; it will transport the tortoises to the ranchers’ location in order to manufacture a better pretext for using the law to harass the ranchers.
When law becomes a politicized weapon rather than a reflection of society’s shared principles, one can no longer expect it to be revered in a manner befitting “political religion.” And when the officials trusted to execute law faithfully violate laws regularly, they lose their presumption of legitimacy. Much of the public is not going to see the Feds versus Bundy as the Law versus the Outlaw; we are more apt to see it as the Bully versus the Small Fry.
Politico– Brian Schweitzer: Cliven Bundy ‘a grifter’
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Friday that Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy doesn’t represent Western landowners or even cattlemen, labeling him a “grifter.”
The former rancher and Democratic politician said Bundy, who has become famous for his standoff with federal Bureau of Land Management officials over unpaid grazing fees for his cattle, doesn’t have the support of anyone in the business.
Sounds like we could settle this all by passing an amnesty bill…for ranchers. #MTPol
— Aaron Flint (@aaronflint) April 17, 2014
In case you missed it, a Nevada lawmaker pushed back during an interview with MSNBC, saying that the grazing fees owed by Bundy may actually total an amount far less than a million dollars. She added that the BLM came up with the fees in 1993 to compensate damages that the BLM themselves never supplied. “The Federal government says do as I say, not as I do.”
VIDEO: (h/t Michelle Malkin)
Broadcasting live from Bundy’s Nevada ranch on “The Kelly File,” he revealed that supporters — made up of men, women and children — were wearing “domestic terrorist” name tags on Friday. D’Souza said seeing children wearing the tags shows just how absurd Reid’s allegations are.
He also told Megyn Kelly that he is now “sensitive” to situations where an individual is targeted by the federal government because of his current case involving a violation of campaign finance law. Some have speculated he was targeted following his anti-Obama documentary.
“There is a big clash going on between people who see themselves as patriots standing up for the principles of 1776, equal rights under the Constitution, and the federal government,” D’Souza said. “We want to live in a country where Lady Justice is blind and you don’t have her looking out through just one eye.”
Meanwhile…more union members fear the government than gun owners. (Then again, a high number of union members are likely gun owners as well)
The Washington Examiner has this:
More than half of the nation’s union members, most of whose Washington-based executives support President Obama and use dues to support Democrats, fear the government, a remarkably high number that even tops the 42 percent of gun owners who fear Uncle Sam, according to a new poll.
Overall, Rasmussen Reports said on Friday that 37 percent of likely voters fear the government. They didn’t poll what they feared. Some 47 percent do not fear the federal government, and 17 percent said they were unsure.
J. C. Kantorowicz – Great Falls
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 7:43 AM
Sitting here in Montana with news stories, speculation, innuendo and outright lies being broadcast to define this event; it is difficult to formulate a solid opinion of what is REALLY happening in Nevada. However, a common theme stands out from all the stories and all the sources and this is…… A federal government agency completely out of control.
Political has beens like Schweitzer, are left with no credibility by “branding” Bundy a “grifter”. Bundy has not attempted to con anyone, nor has he attempted to deceive the public or the federal government. Unlike certain politicians whose whole lives revolve around deceit an obfuscation…….
The political giant Reid has handed us all a characterization that we can take as a badge of honor…… Domestic Terrorist…… I like it!
The BLM agents and “cowboys” that killed all the cattle need to be brought up on charges and punished severely for their crimes. Will the Nevada Board of Livestock or the Clark Co. Sheriff have the guts to do it?