RT is state-funded by Russia and predictably has a bug up its ass about the United States. It’s for this reason that the network is one of the few “mainstream” news outlets still willing to pay any attention at all to Ron Paul. Sane, relatively well-adjusted people look at Paul and see a ranting crackpot idolized largely by really high kids, a guy who accomplished little while in office and who finally stormed out of Congress in a comically self-righteous and self-pitying temper tantrum; RT sees one of America’s most vital thought leaders, a man whose viewpoint is so original and incisive that he’s a dissident threat to the establishment. RT can always be counted on to return to the Paul well whenever it needs confirmation that the U.S. government is an obscene entity casually and callously swinging its dick around and using it to bat down the freedom it hypocritically purports to be committed to, both at home and around the globe. What’s fascinating is that the only other network that cares much about Paul and his opinions is Fox News, an outlet which should by all accounts be diametrically opposed to anything RT has to say. The strange bedfellows sleeping under the blanket of libertarianism really are something.
As soon as Cliven Bundy squared off against the big, bad Bureau of Land Management — instantly becoming a folk hero to idiots who romanticize the notion of armed insurrection against the federal government, seeing it, ironically, as an act of patriotism — you knew it was only a matter of time before either Fox News or RT consulted the legislative Patient Zero of this whole movement. And so it is that Ron Paul’s recent appearance on Neil Cavuto has begun making the rounds — promoted most significantly, of course, at RT — with Paul issuing dire warnings of another showdown between Bundy and the feds that’s surely on the horizon. But Paul isn’t casting this impending confrontation in neutral terms, nor is he trying to cool down the heavily armed assholes who showed up at the Bundy Ranch ready for a firefight with the feds. Instead, maybe predictably, Paul is poking at this powder-keg, basically cautioning the pro-Bundy army not to let its guard down because the jackbooted thugs of the U.S. government will soon return and this time they’ll be bringing Waco and Ruby Ridge with them. “They may come back with a lot more force like they did at Waco with the Davidians… That’s the great fear,” he says.
Now Paul goes on to say that he hopes any potential standoff won’t end with violence, but — oh, come on. Over the weekend, dozens of cowboy cosplayers descended on Bundy’s ranch in Nevada and threatened federal agents with AR-15s. A Republican state assemblywoman from Las Vegas even asserted that the number of guns being trained on its agents was the only thing that stopped the government from wantonly mowing down innocent people to get its way. Michele Fiore addressed the crowd of crazies, saying, “Understand, it is because of each and every one of you standing here and each and every one of our Americans watching us and protecting us with our firearms why this did not turn into Waco massacre or a Ruby Ridge.” Right, another armed standoff with these clowns would definitely end peacefully, especially now that they’re convinced they ran off those government goons by threatening a bloodbath.
Even if what federal agents did over the weekend was prudent — backing off and choosing to come at Bundy in a way that wouldn’t very likely lead to immediate violence — it also emboldened these people and really anyone else who might now think that the laws don’t apply to him as long as he has enough guns on his side. The hick militias who became a de facto defense force for the Bundy Ranch and its lawless owner might really think they can win in an armed rebellion against the government of the United States of America. If nothing else, they’ve proven that they’re more than willing to use the feds’ desire to avoid violence to their advantage.
But now Ron Paul is warning them that the government’s goodwill is only going to last for so long and that at some point it might very well return with more firepower and a greater resolve. These are people who very likely have already succumbed to their own paranoid fantasies of black helicopters and foreign-aligned troops coming for them and their guns; combine that with twisted dreams of neo-Confederate glory and the mistaken belief that they successfully fended off the U.S. government and it all adds up to a recipe for absolute disaster. Paul is right about one thing: the feds will be back in one form or another. They have to. Cliven Bundy is a deadbeat menace who fancies himself a warrior for independence, standing against the mighty army of a government whose authority he refuses to recognize. He’s cast his own lawlessness in florid and romantic terms, as if this whole thing is a stand taken against tyranny rather than simply the result of his just not wanting to pay the government the fees he has to for using its land. Bundy can pretend he’s fighting a noble and necessary battle here, but that’s a bunch of bullshit — he’s basically just a tax dodger and nothing more. And the feds can’t let him get away with this. What happened over the weekend only happened because Bundy spent 21 years ignoring every attempt to get him to comply with regulations. There’s no way the feds will let this slide, if for no other reason than it sends a message that you can defy the laws of the United States as long as you’re armed.
The government tried for more than two decades to get Cliven Bundy to do the right thing. He didn’t. It’s doubtful he’s going to give in now, not after what happened this weekend. And so at some point the confrontation Paul warns about will likely happen, but it won’t be the U.S. looking for a fight. It won’t be the U.S. that wants violence. And it probably won’t be the U.S. that’s to blame if violence is what Cliven Bundy gets. Ron Paul can sell this thing however he wants to the press outlets still willing to take him seriously; it won’t be the evil federal government that brought a nightmare down on the Bundy Ranch if another confrontation turns ugly. Bundy and his militia buddies will have done that all by themselves.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.