The Bundy Ranch fiasco is the gift that keeps on giving wingnuts a chance to come out of the woodwork. On Friday night's All In with Chris Hayes, host Chris Hayes did a live remote with Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, who says she's been camped out with the Bundy mob for six days now. Amid the usual cable news talkovers, Fiore posited a rather stunning maxim: that armed federal officers can't expect citizens not to "fire back."
Fiore kept insisting that the federal government shouldn't show up armed to "collect a bill," which isn't actually what they were doing. They were going to evict trespassing cattle off of federal land after 20 years and a million dollars in unpaid grazing fees and fines, and after they had already canceled one such roundup over safety concerns. In every other place in America, armed sheriffs show up to evict you, and lots of them show up if you've let them know to expect trouble.
But Hayes was rushing to concede that point so he could make his own, when Fiore said, of the feds, "don't come here with guns and expect the American people not to fire back."
Um, actually, that is exactly what we expect. This is an elected official claiming that the mere sight of an armed law enforcement official is reason enough for citizens to open fire.
Hayes must not have actually been listening, because he said "I think we've found a point of agreement. I think you should lien the cows and the property, and I agree a nonviolent resolution to this is great."
Dude, she just said people should "fire back" at law enforcement officers who have not fired at anyone.
The point he was rushing to make, though, was a good one. "Someone who finds themselves in a situation in which a loved one is being deported, they have exhausted all of their legal remedies, and they decide to have 1,000 people show up at their house with guns to stare down members of DHS to extract that person for deportation," he said. "Would you be standing at the barricades with them, as well?"
"Are we talking about cows or illegal immigration, Chris?" Fiore sputtered. "Because I'm talking about cows."
Hayes pointed out that in his example, the human beings are presumably more important than the cows.
Unfortunately, Hayes tripped himself up at the end of the segment with a glib comment about how the cows were just going to be slaughtered anyway, and had to play Fiore off as she went into the patented "How DARE you!" routine. Dude, you can't joke around with these people. He did get off a decent low-key burn at the end, telling the suddenly cow-cherishing Fiore to "enjoy the barbecue."
So this is where we are now. Elected officials are advising citizens to fire on law enforcement officers if they feel sufficiently aggrieved and, as the non-response on Hayes' hypothetical and everything else we know about how this stuff works, sufficiently white.