But remember, we’re pretty deep in the Tea Party derp bubble here which involves what can only be called a proctological route to self-awareness which ends in confusion and can be irreversible.
It is asinine in our age that an armed group of idiots can thwart reasonable government action. Bundy is not a hero, a victim or innocent in any way. Just think of real injustice of America, like people spending life in jail for marijuana charges. It’s hard to imagine the “militia,” a mostly fat, white and ignorant group, showing up to defend a kid in the inner city who was arrested for no reason. Also think what would happen to you, if you opted not to register your car for 20 years. Bundy exploits the most sickening version of white privilege to justify what amounts to theft.
First, this entire incident speaks to the continued power of right-wing mythology. For many of the protesters, this isn’t about a rogue rancher as much as it’s a stand against “tyranny” personified in Barack Obama and his administration.
Second, it won’t happen, but right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaud actual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials.
Finally, I can’t help but wonder how conservatives would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials. Would Fox News applaud black militiamen aiming their guns at white bureaucrats?
Somehow, given the degree to which right-wing media traffic in racial paranoia, I think we’d be looking at a different situation if the Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people. And as someone who closely follows the regular incidents of lethal police violence against blacks and Latinos, I also wonder whether law enforcement would be as tepid against a group of armed African-Americans. Judging from past events, I’m not so sure.
I fear we’ve been trained too well to accept a greatly diminished federal government and its ideological aim to reduce its role to irrelevance, leading to a society with low expectations.
@NYTimesKrugman notes how the discursive goalposts have shifted. And about bloody time.
" … prostitutes, pansies and punks … "
— Tom Robinson Band, Power in the Darkness.
True in 1978. True now.
What the Democrats are trying to do is not to end the shutdown for its own sake, but to break the cycle of crises governance, where they are constantly being asked to make absurd concessions merely to keep the government operating. They want to take away the Republicans’ ability to hold a gun to our country’s credit rating and take away their will to shut down the government. And, since this is the priority, helping the Republicans save face by giving them some reward, no matter how paltry, is entirely counterproductive.
To put it in parent/child terms, if you have a boy who throws a lot of tantrums, your problem isn’t the particular tantrum he is throwing right now, but the fact that he throws tantrums whenever he doesn’t get what he wants. When you bargain with the child, you ensure that he will continue the behavior in the future because it is effective.
How does one party that has lost two presidential elections and a Supreme Court case – as well as two Senate elections - think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now? I see no quid pro quo even. Just pure blackmail, resting on understandable and predictable public concern whenever a major reform is enacted. But what has to be resisted is any idea that this is government or politics as usual. It is an attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States.