Though Fox News seems highly invested in doing everything possible to turn Cliven Bundy into some kind of galvanizing conservative icon (and let’s be honest, this kind of anti-government kook plays right into the hands of their audience), mainstream Republican organizations and politicians have mostly avoided the issue.
And it seems even some within the tea party are realizing that Bundy is guilty, owes this money and those supporting him clearly don’t understand the law.
The more this issue gets attention, the more the facts continue to emerge and show that Cliven Bundy is nothing more than a scumbag who doesn’t want to pay grazing fees due to his cattle grazing on land that isn’t his. Once people learn the facts of the case, Bundy’s “anti-government” approach seems far less sexy and simply becomes a case of another person trying to avoid taking personal responsibility for their actions.
“It’s like, really, Glenn Beck? This is the issue you want to get behind?” said one Nevada conservative activist who has followed the story for years. “People who aren’t in tune with the story just jumped all over it. And then you go back and read the facts of the story, and then you go, ‘Uh oh.’”
Politico actually reached out to the Tea Party Patriots for comment about the situation in Nevada, but they claimed there was nobody there to provide a comment and they were focused on “other” issues – like the IRS and “Obamacare.”
When you have a fresh anti-government “story” like Cliven Bundy and even the tea party is choosing to focus on the same old nonsense they’ve been regurgitating for years, that pretty much tells you that Bundy isn’t a “conservative hero” – he’s a freeloading rancher who doesn’t want to pay his fees for repeatedly violating federal law.
Because this isn’t a case about “government overreach.” It’s a story about a guy who’s been fighting for over 20 years to not pay fees tied to his illegal grazing simply because he doesn’t recognize the federal government’s authority over the land. Not that they don’t have authority over it (courts have repeatedly sided with the government and ordered Bundy to pay the fees and remove his cattle), but because he doesn’t want to recognize that they do.
And that’s what this really boils down to. It’s the federal government versus a delusional rancher’s ignorance and continued attempts to avoid taking personal responsibility for the laws he’s violated.