Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cliven Bundy and AZ GOPers: Still BFFs?

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who became a Republican hero and cause celebre for using public resources illegally (grazing his cattle on public land and refusing to pay grazing fees), has become less celebrated after some bigoted remarks of his came to light.

From the New York Times, written by Adam Nagourney -
But if the federal government has moved on, Mr. Bundy — a father of 14 and a registered Republican — has not.

He said he would continue holding a daily news conference; on Saturday, it drew one reporter and one photographer, so Mr. Bundy used the time to officiate at what was in effect a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Now, Mr. Bundy and his ilk have the right to express their opinions, even those that are ignorant and virulently bigoted.

That's within his rights.

However, people who disagree with him have the same rights.

We have the right to disagree with him, to express that disagreement, and even to criticize him and his supporters.

We also have the right to cast the bright light of scrutiny on him and his fellow travelers.

From the twitter feeds of some of the Republican elected officials from AZ who went to Nevada to aid and abet show their solidarity with Bundy -

(L-R) US Rep. Paul Gosar, Bundy, State Sen. Kelli Ward

State Rep. David Livingston (center) and three of his fellow travelers
(L-R) State Rep Bob Thorpe, State Rep. Kelly Townsend, State Sen. Judy Burges, State Rep. David Livingston, unknown, unknown, unknown

I haven't found any comments about Bundy's latest spoutings (positive or negative) from the AZ types who visited him.  Given the track record of at least one of them (Thorpe), I don't expect that they will be denouncing their hero anytime soon.

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