Ostensibly, Cliven Bundy’s cattle grazing controversy could not have come at a more opportune time for conservatives. The perceived momentum heading into November’s elections had begun to lose some of its steam prompting one Republican strategist to say this week “Republicans may have peaked too early.” Senate races in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina where Democrats were supposed to be in peril seemed to be much closer then had been previously imagined. The ongoing failure on the part of Congressional Republicans to move forward on immigration once again took center stage and the now open warfare within the G.O.P. between the establishment and the Tea Party continues apace. More importantly the monotonous and hackneyed droning on about Obamacare has begun to lose some of it’s resonance in the wake of three facts. One is that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance and secondly, recent polling shows, that while many Americans are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act most of the dissatisfied want it repaired not repealed and replaced. Finally, even if a majority of the disgruntled favored repeal, the Republican Party, after eight years in opposition has yet to construct a health care alternative. Enter the Cliven Bundy cattle controversy into which conservative commentators and pundits of all stripes piled onto with almost reckless abandon, seeking to capitalize on the conservative base’s anti-government fervor only to discover, a few days on, two inconvenient facts that would come back to undermine their latest conservative celebrity du jour.
First, in spite of all of the efforts on the part of conservative commentators to force fit Bundy’s transgressions into a “government overreach” template the fact stands that Bundy has been using federal land for his private cattle on the taxpayer’s dime. A perusal of commentary on that reliably anti-government website TownHall.com, among others, reveals the type of jury-rigged logic employed in much of the commentary posted in support of Bundy. Many would argue that while Bundy might be technically at fault for not paying the Federal government grazing fees his transgression was trumped by his “moral” case against government overreach. Then there is the far-fetched folly of an idea, propagated by Bundy himself, that because he personally does not recognize the existence of the Federal government, that that somehow really matters or changes anything in the real world. Some would see the unfolding incident as the beginning of a new anti-government crusade or at the very least, a revival of the last one.
The inherent fault of the aforementioned “logic” became all the more apparent when Tucker Carlson, host of Fox and Friends, Editor in Chief of the conservative Daily Caller and no friend of the Obama administration, pointed out that Bundy’s actions are neither legal or ethical. Quoting Carlson “…the Bundys don’t have a legal case that I can see, to be totally honest about it. And this is public land. This is not land that they own. And if you are going to use public land for profit, you have to pay for it, and they haven’t. And so the bottom line, and I think this is something conservatives ought to remember, if you want a ranch without any impediment at all, you have to buy your own ranch. That is the essence, that is the core principle behind private property which undergirds conservatism. So I have a lot of sympathy for the Bundys. I think they were completely mistreated by the federal government. But I still think it’s important to point out that this land does not belong to them, and that’s not a minor distinction. It’s the essence of private property.” Carlson’s opinion was seconded by his fellow conservative commentators Juan Williams and A.B. Stoddard, both Fox News regulars and bona fide conservative commentators in their own right. Another important point that undermines the anti-government claque supporting Bundy was made by Timothy Egan in “Deadbeat on the Range” where he pointed out that: “Ranching is hard work. Drought and market swings make it a tough go in many years. That’s all the more reason to praise the 18,000 or so ranchers who pay their grazing fees on time and don’t go whining to Fox or summoning a herd of armed thugs when they renege on their contract. You can understand why the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association wants no part of Bundy.”
While conservative commentators wrestled with the flawed logic of trying to justify Bundy’s trampling of cherished conservative principles with their own penchant to vilify the Federal government no matter the particulars of this case, it was Bundy himself who made his new found friends look all the more foolish by revealing his own intemperate views on race. Bundy’s ill concieved remarks are now well known and need not be repeated here. That said, owing to the ongoing problems that the conservative movement has with the minority communities, Bundy’s comments can only do more harm than good. And herein lies the great irony of Cliven Bundy and his relationship to the conservative movement. For one thing not only has he acted in a manner that is contridictory to the conservative principals and beliefs, he has acted as the very type of “moocher” that conservatives have often attributed to those who occupy government funded housing projects or receive publicly funded assistance. I can only wonder what one of the columnists on TownHall.com, Dr. Ben Carson, must now think having written a post in support of Cliven Bundy. For you see Dr. Carson is an African-American, a retired neurosurgeon, and according to Cliven Bundy, he would be better suited to picking cotton than practicing medicine or opining about politics. Oh and just one more point, why out of some 18,000 plus ranchers does Bundy need a de facto federal handout? Don’t conservatives believe in a competitive market place? If so, why should Bundy get a free ride while his competitors pay their grazing fees without engineering an armed protest? If Bundy can’t profitably run a cattle business without a de facto public handout shouldn’t he be allowed to fail as part of the back and forth of an economically competitive ranching sector?
By Wednesday April 23 many if not most of the conservative commentators and pundits who had rallied to Bundy’s side where fleeing from him en masse or trying to convince themselves and the rest of the viewing public that, in spite of all the contradictions and flawed logic surrounding their previous defense of Bundy, that somehow there was something redeeming in his predicament and how it related to the conservative agenda. Needless to say, Cliven Bundy blew his fifteen minutes of fame and he will most certainly take his place in the pantheon of conservatives who have done exactly the same thing. No, he will not occupy a place as prominent as Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell or Richard Mourdock but he will be in good company just the same. The sooner that Bundy can slip into irrelevance the better it will be for conservatives. In reality it is the best outcome that can now be expected unless you see political damage control as a worthwhile endeavor. In addition, while for conservatives Bundy has been revealed to be nothing more than a pig in a poke, for Democrats Bundy could be just another one of those gifts that keeps on giving. If the Democrats were smart, they would turn Cliven Bundy into a tar baby, no pun intended that they could keep dragging out as needed to which Republicans will be forced to explain away in hope of placating a body politic that already rates the G.O.P. lower than either the Democrats or Barack Obama.
Steven J. Gulitti
26 April 2014
Pushing Back Against the Federal Leviathan; http://townhall.com/columnists/robertknight/2014/04/23/pushing-back-against-the-federal-leviathan-n1827227
BLM – Bundy Confrontation Ignites new “Sagebrush Rebellion; http://townhall.com/columnists/bobbarr/2014/04/23/blmbundy-confrontation-ignites-new-sagebrush-rebellion-n1828100
When Government Looks More Like Foe Than Friend; http://townhall.com/columnists/drbencarson/2014/04/23/when-government-looks-more-like-foe-than-friend-n1827899
Why Bundy Ranch Is Just the Beginning; http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2014/04/23/why-bundy-ranch-is-just-the-beginning-n1828250
Tucker Carlson – FNC Special Report: Reaction to Bundy land dispute with federal government; http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/special-report-bret-baier/2014/04/15/all-star-panel-reaction-bundy-land-dispute-federal-government
Tamara Holder vs. Sean Hannity on Cliven Bundy’s Ranch; http://www.brunchnews.com/real-clear-politics/politics/tamara-holder-vs-sean-hannity-on-cliven-bundy-s-ranch-975757
The National Journal: Cliven Bundy Just Ruined His Cause; http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/cliven-bundy-just-ruined-his-cause-20140424
No, Sean Hannity, you can’t distance yourself from Cliven Bundy; http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/04/25/no-sean-hannity-you-cant-distance-yourself-from-cliven-bundy/
Timothy Egan – Deadbeat on the Range; http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2014/04/18/deadbeat_on_the_range_330241.html
Of Fox and the Cattle; https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6170847-of-fox-and-the-cattle
“In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent or resistance to lawful authority.” DICTIONARY DEFINITION
“The frenzy on the right is pure fear of stepping out of line with the Republican politburo and getting shipped to Siberia. This lockstep mentality is rare in American history. Here is a grand old party frozen, suspended, mesmerized, in thrall to a gaggle of showboats and radio entertainers and small mobs of fist-shakers standing staunch for unreality, and no Republican elected official dares say, “Let us not be nuts.” There will be books written about this in years to come, and they will not be kind to the likes of Re. Boehner and Se. McConnell.” GARRISON KEILLOR
Great post. Let’s re-double our efforts to defeat these fascists this fall.
Fred Rich LaRiccia
Great post? You actually read it?
Seems like that’s how it went down. Conservatives claim to hate deadbeats and freeloaders, but they rallied to this guy’s side because he hates the feds. Then those among them who try not to appear overtly racist started running for cover when the guy decided to say this:
Which is pretty rich coming from a guy angry about the inadequacy of his own massive government subsidy.
to the writing or the cross-posting. I think it’s OK if someone crossposts provided it’s noted (Steven should do this), and I don’t think Steven’s a frequent enough poster that it poses a real issue. It seems as though there’s some history here of which I’m not aware.
Just my take and I defer to the editors. I thank you for the kind words, though.
Just to set the record straight, I read the rules and regs on BMG several years ago after someone began carping about cross-posting.
There are no rules on this site that either prohibit cross-posting or require that bloggers identify a post as one that has been posted on other venues. Just to make sure I clarified that this morning with a BMG site administrator.
In the interest of putting an end to what I see as the cross-posting tempest in a tea pot I’ll let everyone know in the future when an entry has been posted elsewhere, providing I remember to do so. Hopefully that will put to rest this most momentous issue once and for all.
Hi Busch, I see you’re back to moaning and wailing about my posts. As I politely told you before, if you don’t like my stuff don’t read it or comment on it. Let’s understand one thing, BMG isn’t you personal playground and if you can’t abide that fact perhaps you should find somewhere else to post and comment.
I don’t relish Mr. Gulitti’s posts, because I find them too verbose and often lacking in new insights, but nobody’s forcing me (or paying me) to read them. I usually skim the beginnings, and if nothing I didn’t already know pops up, I skip the rest. Saves a lot of time.
Like he says, if you don’t like his posts, don’t read them. It’s not like he’s trolling us with provocative nonsense. He’s on our side.
There’s a political point here, though. It’s easy to have this idea that the electorate’s attachment to conservatism is this flimsy thing. Just applying some derision will blow it away. Mr. Gulitti participates fully in that effort. Why he has provided a long series of posts “exposing” the stupidity of the tea party. He proudly comments on conservative comment threads.
However, if making condescending comments about conservatism were all it took, Democrats would have long ago have captured all branches of government.
Rather, I think this addiction to derision can be a particularly bad habit for liberals. It’s surprisingly unconvincing. Non-liberals find it quite unappealing.
Funny but one of my cinder block laden diatribes has actually been incoroporated into a published text book on the Tea Party:
Current Controversies: The Tea Party Movement
Didn’t I send you a complimentary copy?
Not trying to blow my own horn, just saying……………
Faced with huge cinder block paragraphs, no one else reads these posts either.
The titles are catchy though.
But if so, there’s no harm done by the derision.
Seems like one of your earlier comments has been deleted, perhaps you might like to move away from personal attacks or running just up to the line of that sort of behavior.
Not trying to be snide or high handed but just for fun you might want to check out my other blogs on OpenSalon.com or Capital Hill Blue’s ReaderRant and see how few people read my posts!!!
dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Clive Bundy! Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo.
Sorry old boy I’m just a lowly union iron worker and not a Harvard Don.
Would you mind translating your latest or is this perhaps something else that the moderators might find offensive and delete?
“Loren ipsum” is “filler text of scrambled Latin.” I believe kbusch was trying to make a point, but I do not know what that point is.
Why can’t buschie just speak the King’s English if he’s got something noteworthy to convey? What I suspect is that he’s afraid that he’ll see yet another comment deleted by the site adminsitrator which I suspect has already happened once on this post already.
This is ma public forum, not a grammer class.
Thanks, like I said I’m an iron worker, not an English professor.
BTW do you police every post on this blog?
stop trying to write like your image of an English professor. Write more simply. Use shorter sentences and paragraphs.
I vote for hissy fit!
Aside from the typo (“it’s” instead of “its”), note the odd juxtaposition of “droning” and “resonance”. Hackneyed droning is, of course, a very special kind of droning known only to such specialists in monotony as our diarist. From the context, we might deduce that hackneyed droning is only found in the wake left behind by large ocean-going vessels.
I looked up “hackneyed droning” in the dictionary and saw a picture of you.
Speaking of “large ocean-going vessels” what do you know about them? Have you ever shipped out?
Between the USCG and the merchant marine I’ve sailed on seven different ships. Seems to me you might be all wet when it comes to this topic too.
Bundy’s ancestors were loured to the west by our own government, by offering free use of federal land for grazing if they moved out west. Bundy’s Mormon ancestors did just that and his family has been using the exact same public lands since 1870 or so.
In 89′, a desert turtle was put on the endangered species list, then the BML swoops in and tells the Bundy family they need to downsize their cattle from 500 to 150, which Bundy claims, along with the fees, would put him out of business. Thus began the fight.
It reminds me of our fight with the reuse of the Fernald Land in Waltham. State closes Fernald and won’t sell Waltham the land (state should just give the city the land) without “conditions” and “restrictions” from Deval.
The federal Bureau of Land Management did not come into
existence until after WWII when Bundy’s family first started grazing on OUR land. Ranchers pay $1.35 per head of cattle to graze on FEDERAL, taxpayer subsidized land as opposed to $12 on STATE owned land and $30 for PRIVATE land. The courts say Bundy in arrears $1 MILLION. He is a seditious, welfare cowboy, tax-cheating scofflaw, and a big-mouth racist to boot.
Pay up Bundy. And while you’re at, SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE,
Fred Rich LaRiccia
that these guys would just be happy for their bargain-basement grazing permits and be happy the land’s not in private hands. But no.
I couldn’t care less why his family moved there 150 years ago. What do you think would happen if someone declined to pay University of California tuition on the grounds that, not all that long ago, it used to be free?
I doubt it. This is the crowd that would much prefer privatization to “socialist” ownership of so much land by the “gummit”, especially the “fed’rel gummit”.
If the money were in private hands, they’d pay $30 per head of cattle (if not more) instead of $1.35. What I want to know is why the BLM, in these revenue-starved times, isn’t charging closer to market rate. We’re subsidizing these people to the tune of 96% and they’re bitching about it.
I’d love to know how many of his militia friends or erstwhile conservative pundit admirers would run to his side if he owed a private landowner $1 million in back grazing fees and had lost in court multiple times. What if he owed a private entity a million? A conundrum for the Breitbart set: he’s a deadbeat debtor, but a states’-rights debtor with a large arsenal.
Conservatives seem to be out to become the anti-heros of every possible tragedy of the commons — aquifers, pollution, global warming, transportation. Is that a result of some kind of narrow focus on individuals?
So if the gummit owns it, you’re supposed to exploit it.
Tucker Carlson is not one of the three hosts of Fox and Friends.
“Tucker Carlson is not one of the three hosts of Fox and Friends.”
Then he had better update his bio: “In March 2013, it was announced that Carlson was tapped to co-host the weekend editions of Fox & Friends. Beginning in April, Carlson, a Fox News contributor and frequent guest host on the program, officially joined co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and Clayton Morris on Saturday and Sunday mornings. He replaced Dave Briggs, who left the news channel to join the NBC Sports Network on New Years 2013.”
Source:Byers, Dylan. “Tucker Carlson to Fox & Friends Weekends”. Politico.com.
“Fact Check: Tucker Carlson is not one of the three hosts of Fox and Friends.”
Well it seems that once again one of my good friends here has failed to do his homework before leveling his latest barb in what now seems to be a long running hissy fit engendered by my blog posts. The failure of this “ready – shoot – aim” approach to things can be seen by a quick perusal of the Fox and Friends website.
For one thing Tucker Carlson appears at the top of the site along with Anna Kooiman and Clayton Morris. Scroll down the webpage and Carlson appears among six other hosts including Kooiman and Morris. Moreover I turned on Fox & Friends this morning, 4 May 2014, at 9:53 AM and guess who was one of the hosts? Surprise, it was none other than Tucker Carlson!!!
The practice of raising and trying to win tangential or marginally related points is common on blogs when one can’t refute or disprove the central thrust of the argument presented in the subject post. Even if I was wrong about Carlson’s role on Fox & Friends would have really mattered based on what he said about Bundy and the cold hard fact that Carlson is a bona fide conservative commentator with a national following?
The lesson here is fundamental, know your topic, do your homework, refrain from personal attacks and thereby avoid self inflicted public embarrassment.
For those who remain unconvinced as to Tucker Carlson’s role on Fox & Friends please see the following:
Fox & Friends; http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-and-friends/
Happy Sunday to all!
Hadn’t realized Fox and Friends had a Sunday show.
“Hadn’t realized Fox and Friends had a Sunday show.”
That’s because you didn’t do your homework or perhaps you don’t fully know where some of the most prominent conservative players ply their trade. That said go back and look over most of your comments and you yourself will see that you’ve had very little to say about my central argument. By now the comments of others who have called your actions into question, the fact that a comment was deleted by the administrator for being inappropriate as well as claims “no one else reads these posts either’, having been proven false, should convince you of the futility of your efforts here. As I and others have said, if you don’t like my posts, don’t read them or comment on them. I mean really, that’s pretty straight forward advice.
For someone so prone to such arrogant and haughty criticism I can only now laugh at your most recent self inflicted comeuppance. If you want to go on being a glutton for punishment be my guest. I’m a pretty easy going guy but I don’t abide those who are prone to attempts at bullying or high handed behavior. After all I am an iron worker, not a hair dresser.
Don’t get me wrong, you are more than welcome to comment on the substance and arguments I post, but I think that you can see by now from the responses you’ve been getting here that the nit picking is grown tedious and is now generally unwelcomed. Has a point been made here or must we go on with this nonsense?
and I’m not going to read it.
Do you seriously believe that anyone here thinks you didn’t read this?
Nice attempt at deflection but I doubt anyone will buy it.
Do us all a favor and take a break from commenting on this post.
or perhaps flatter yourself into thinking I’m dying to know how you responded.
This is not the first time I have used this very effective tactic — and I’ve kept my word every time I’ve resorted to it.
I also suspect you misread kirth, somervilletom, etc. here. They are not necessarily disagreeing with me, but rather urging me not to comment here. It’s not that they’re on “your” side. They are uncomfortable with my commenting.
Unlike you, I actually engage in discussion on threads here not written by steven-j-gulitti. So they have much more history with me than you do.
“They are uncomfortable with my commenting.”
Yes and that’s because you’re off topic and engaged in a personal attack where some of your comments have been deleted by the administrator. As far as their having a “much more history with me than you do.”, so what. Does that have anything to do with the fact that they think your antipathy twoards me is ill mannered? I doubt that very much.
What was the point of this post to begin with?
That some conservatives are dumb? We know that.
None of your posts are ever a call to action or an invitation to view something in a different light.
For example your previous devoted a number of big cinder block paragraphs to some obscure comment on a conservative website. Who the hell cares about what Jackie Gingrich Cushman thinks — other than Newt and Mr Cushman?
As for personal attacks, my comments have been entirely restricted to the content of your writing. If you’re that sensitive to criticism that you think it’s personal, you do have the option of only posting on Open Salon.
Your comments, on the other hand, the “Bushie” bit or the misogynist or homophobic “hissie fit”, are rather indeed rather personal.
“What was the point of this post to begin with? That some conservatives are dumb? We know that.”
SJG: Sorry if I’m not as profound as you but several others here found the post a worthwhile read as their comments indicate.
“None of your posts are ever a call to action or an invitation to view something in a different light.”
SJG: Absolutely untrue see: Beyond Benghazi and The Tea Party and the GOP: From Rescue to Wreck as just two examples.
“For example your previous devoted a number of big cinder block paragraphs to some obscure comment on a conservative website. Who the hell cares about what Jackie Gingrich Cushman thinks — other than Newt and Mr Cushman?”
SJG: In the great scheme of things who the hell cares what you think, what I think or what anyone in the blogosphere thinks! BTW some of those same “cinder block” laden posts have reached almost 10,000 reads on OpenSalon.
“As for personal attacks, my comments have been entirely restricted to the content of your writing. If you’re that sensitive to criticism that you think it’s personal, you do have the option of only posting on Open Salon.”
SJG: You’d love for me to stop posting here and I know that but it ain’t gonna happen pal.
“Your comments, on the other hand, the “Bushie” bit or the misogynist or homophobic “hissie fit”, are rather indeed rather personal.”
SJG: Well for one thing the comments that you made that were personally offensive have been removed by an administrator so again, pot meet kettle. As far as “Bushie” and “hissy fit” goes, well I can’t help it if you’re offended but you behavior, at times, to me resembles someone with his / her britches in a twist, so……….
You’re so defensive that you can no longer read or think.
“Stopped reading a third of the way through”
B.S. We all know you read the whole thing so stop it!!!
This style of exhaustive reply wherein every point is quoted and then responded to is tiresome.
It’s also a sign of being a poor writer.
A good writer knows how to prioritize. A bad writer responds point by point to obscure relatives of Newt Gingrich.
Your constant hissy fits and bleating about my posts is even more tiresome as are the claims to not have read them.
Comments about my being a poor writer, coming from you that is, amounts to just another personal attack. Par for the course
My most recent posts:
1. An Early Postscript to the Marriage Equality Fight
11 recommendations, front paged
2. Republican Healthcare Reform or Vanishing Act
3. Conservative Talking Points You May Have Missed
3 Reccomendations, front paged.
steven-j-gulitti’s recent posts:
1. Cliven Bundy: Conservative’s Pig in a Poke
2. Jackie Gingrich Cushman and the Epitome of Anti-Obama Animus
3. Does Anyone Seriously Think The Tea Party Isn’t in Decline
Kudos to you.
Now you can go back over all of my posts here and tally up the number of recommendations, I have over 30 to date.
Likewise on OpenSalon, to date, I have eight posts that were awarded an “Editor’s Pick”, thirty six posts that have registered over one thousand reads, one over ten thousand and one which has been incorporated into a book on the Tea Party as previously noted above. That said your carrying on about “nobody reads this stuff anyway” is once again revealed as just another ill conceived personal attack against me by you.
I think you would do yourself a big favor and take the advice that your friends gave you as detailed above and take a “time out” from commenting on my posts. At this point you’re just digging yourself a deeper hole and engaged in a no win situation with me, one that you’ll never win, so why continue?
Have I made my point yet or do you just hope to have the last word as if that in and of itself is significant?
You’ve entirely missed the point. I don’t necessarily disagree with you. So I’m not attempting to pull this post down with trivia.
Instead, I’m saying it is badly written in a number of ways. There’s bad grammar. There are convoluted sentences in need of editing. There’s a lack of bringing anything new to the discussion. There’s also the theme of too much derision — as much in evidence in the unattractive comments here as in the sequence of posts. (“buschie”, “hissie fit”, et.c)
I’m not trying to “win” a point.
On the other hand, I object to using BMG and other progressive blogs as mere tools by which to raise one’s visibility on Google.
“There’s also the theme of too much derision — as much in evidence in the unattractive comments here as in the sequence of posts. (“buschie”, “hissie fit”, et.c)”
If this isn’t a classic case of “the pot calling the kettle black” what is? Perhaps you should go back and look over some of your own comments here if you want to some some good examples of “too much derision”, particularly those that were deleted by the administrators.
And on the continual bleating about cross posting, objection overruled by the administrators. There is nothing in the BMG rules that addresses cross posting. Once again I would remind you that this venue isn’t your personal playground. That said would you please stop trying to rewrite the rules or impose your own rules onto this site.
kbusch, it does appear that your antipathy for Steven’s style has led you from the path of righteousness. I suggest taking a break from reading his posts. He’s not doing any damage, and it’s possible he might reach some who don’t find his style objectionable. IOW, there are better targets.
Comment nesting at the end of a thread is still apparently confused.
My reply is to the (unhelpful) comment from the usually-reliable kbusch.
you are now doing what I’m doing?
Perhaps you might like to take the kind hearted advice that’s been given and like they say in the boxing game it’s time to head for your corner and to towel down for a spell.