Here’s Victor Davis Hanson, suggesting that those federal SWAT guys could have more properly found a target much closer to home, had they been inclined to do something right for a change.
…we are not threatened by the likes of Cliven Bundy. Instead, the scary lawlessness extends to the bureaucracy itself, given that under Obama the government is becoming tainted and an ideological tool of social transformation. After just six years, we shrug that, of course, the IRS is biased. The Justice Department is politicized; ask Dinesh D’Souza or the AP reporters. No need to mention the NSA. The EPA makes laws up as ideologically required. No one believes the State Department that in the weeks before the election a video-caused “riot” led to expert jihadists zeroing in with their GPS-guided mortars on a CIA annex in Benghazi. And so on.
Bundy is just different from what is now America — he looks different, talks differently, and dresses differently. These are the superficial veneers to someone who lives mostly through different premises from those of Pajama Boy nation, the world of Jay Carney and his cute Stalinist posters, the cosmos of Anita Dunn and her Mao gushes, or the metrosexual networking that is the gospel of Silicon Valley or the DC beltway. Few of us rely on human muscle anymore to survive one more day. Fewer of those who do combine that with horse-power, and its world of leather and wood and rope. Bundy is self-employed, without an SEIU union, a PERS pension, or a GS-15 health plan.
Given all that, I suggest Cliven Bundy is far more endangered than is the desert tortoise, and that his kind will be gone shortly in a way the federally protected tarantula and Gila monster or delta smelt will not.
Hanson makes the common conservative mistake of blaming all this on Obama and the democrats, as if six years ago we somehow threw away a utopia of republican philosopher kings, under whose benevolently negligent rule we all reclined in security under our own vines and fig trees. And I’m really not at all sure what he means by “the nihilism of Cliven Bundy,” mentioned elsewhere in the article. I’m looking at a definition of the (admittedly often-abused) word, and I read…
1. total rejection of established laws and institutions.
2. anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity.
3. total and absolute destructiveness, especially toward the world at large and including oneself: the power-mad nihilism that marked Hitler’s last years.
a. an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth.
b. nothingness or nonexistence.
5. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) the principles of a Russian revolutionary group, active in the latter half of the 19th century, holding that existing social and political institutions must be destroyed in order to clear the way for a new state of society and employing extreme measures, including terrorism and assassination.
Granted that I know nothing about Cliven Bundy other than what I read in the news, which is the same as saying I know nothing about Cliven Bundy. But none of those descriptions seem to fit him half so well as they fit his official persecutors. The first comes close only if you’re prepared to assume that “all established laws and institutions” reside and have their origin in Washington DC.
To the contrary, Hanson himself correctly points out that Washington is a hotbed of lawlessness and often violent situational rule-making. He’s wrong to suggest that it all started with Obama, but he’s right to point at it and say, “it exists.”
So for any SWAT officers tired of getting shipped off to some godforsaken desert where they can be jeered at by heavily-armed peasants, I respectfully suggest a closer – and far softer – target much more in need of their ministrations.