Quotes of the day
posted at 10:41 pm on April 15, 2014 by Allahpundit
RORY REID, SON OF SEN. HARRY REID: We believe in a country in which we are subject to laws and you can’t just ignore the laws we don’t like. I think clearly if state and local prosecutors look at this more closely, they’re going to find that he broke the law and he should be prosecuted…
REID: He is not a victim and he’s not a hero. He’s been using that he doesn’t own for over 20 years and he didn’t pay. He broke the law. There are hundreds of ranchers throughout Nevada that conduct their profession honorably. There’s thousands of them throughout the country and when they have a dispute with the BLM they try to work it out.
“You’ve got to find candidates who can win and then you don’t have to worry about Harry Reid,” said co-host Greg Gutfeld after lamenting the GOP’s choice of nominee to face Reid in his 2010 Senate reelection bid. “We don’t want to focus too much on this battle. We should see that the bigger battle is at the ballot box.”
Turning to Perino, co-host Eric Bolling asked if the rumors that Reid’s son had engaged a Chinese firm to build a solar plant on the disputed real estate or that a former Reid aide who now heads the Bureau of Land Management had any merit.
Perino said that the rumors about a solar plant were “debunked” and Reid’s former aide was confirmed by a bipartisan Senate majority. “There are good staffers out there,” Perino asserted.
“I think wishful thinking is one of conservatives’ worst enemies,” she added.
TUCKER CARLSON: It was moving in an ugly direction and I think the Feds exacerbated it by showing up with snarling dogs and drawn weapons.That’s appropriate when you are dealing with a drug cartel, not an elderly rancher. On the other hand, 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 owned. 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 is this is something I think 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.
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. Sorry.
[I]t is obvious that some activities are favored by the Obama administration’s BLM, and others are disfavored. The favored developments include solar and wind projects. No surprise there: the developers of such projects are invariably major Democratic Party donors. Wind and solar energy survive only by virtue of federal subsidies, so influencing people like Barack Obama and Harry Reid is fundamental to the developers’ business plans. Ranchers, on the other hand, ask nothing from the federal government other than the continuation of their historic rights. It is a safe bet that Cliven Bundy is not an Obama or Reid contributor.
The new head of the BLM is a former Reid staffer. Presumably he was placed in his current position on Reid’s recommendation. Harry Reid is known to be a corrupt politician, one who has gotten wealthy on a public employee’s salary, in part, at least, by benefiting from sweetheart real estate deals. Does Harry Reid now control more than 80% of the territory of Nevada? If you need federal authority to conduct business in Nevada–which is overwhelmingly probable–do you need to pay a bribe to Harry Reid or a member of his family to get that permission? Why is it that the BLM is deeply concerned about desert tortoises when it comes to ranchers, but couldn’t care less when the solar power developers from China come calling? Environmentalists have asked this question. Does the difference lie in the fact that Cliven Bundy has never contributed to an Obama or Reid campaign, or paid a bribe to Reid or a member of his family?…
So let’s have some sympathy for Cliven Bundy and his family. They don’t have a chance on the law, because under the Endangered Species Act and many other federal statutes, the agencies are always in the right. And their way of life is one that, frankly, is on the outs. They don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps. It probably has never occurred to them to bribe a politician. They don’t subsist by virtue of government subsidies or regulations that hamstring competitors. They aren’t illegal immigrants. They have never even gone to law school. So what possible place is there for the Bundys in the Age of Obama?
The disproportionate nature of the government’s reaction to Bundy suggests this has less to do with delinquent grazing fees than it does with the selective assertion of raw governmental power — sending a message not just to Bundy or a disfavored group, but to America as a whole. The same federal government that deploys Bureau of Land Management shooters tricked out like SEAL Team 6 directs Border Patrol agents to flee from aggressive illegal immigrants. The same federal government that would fire and prosecute federal agents who physically restrain border-crossers sends agents to tase and sic German shepherds on ordinary Americans exercising First Amendment rights.
One can acknowledge that the government has the right — in fact, the responsibility — to enforce the law, yet object that this administration habitually enforces the law in a capricious, arbitrary, and discriminatory manner. They imperiously go after a Bundy while excusing scores of miscreants whose get-out-of-jail-free card is membership in a politically-correct class. They regularly waive legal requirements out of sheer political expediency. They fail to defend duly enacted statutes with which they, the enlightened, disagree.
One can concede that the federal government may take reasonable steps to (ostensibly) protect endangered species, but reject that such creatures should be given primacy over human beings humbly trying to earn a living. It’s a bit unsettling, to say the least, that this administration has displayed more resolve (and animosity) toward Clive Bundy than it has toward Vladimir Putin or Bashar al-Assad.
Of course the law is against Cliven Bundy. How could it be otherwise? The law was against Mohandas Gandhi, too, when he was tried for sedition; Mr. Gandhi himself habitually was among the first to acknowledge that fact, refusing to offer a defense in his sedition case and arguing that the judge had no choice but to resign, in protest of the perfectly legal injustice unfolding in his courtroom, or to sentence him to the harshest sentence possible, there being no extenuating circumstances for Mr. Gandhi’s intentional violation of the law. Henry David Thoreau was happy to spend his time in jail, knowing that the law was against him, whatever side justice was on…
Harry Reid, apparently eager for somebody to play the role of General Dyer in this civil-disobedience drama, promises that this is “not over.” And, in a sense, it can’t be over: The theory of modern government is fundamentally Hobbesian in its insistence that where political obedience is demanded, that demand must be satisfied lest we regress into bellum omnium contra omnes. I myself am of the view that there is a great deal of real estate between complete submission and civil war, and that acts such as Mr. Bundy’s are not only bearable in a free republic but positively salubrious…
If the conservatives in official Washington want to do something other than stand by and look impotent, they might consider pressing for legislation that would oblige the federal government to divest itself of 1 percent of its land and other real estate each year for the foreseeable future through an open auction process. Even the Obama administration has identified a very large portfolio of office buildings and other federal holdings that are unused or under-used. By some estimates, superfluous federal holdings amount to trillions of dollars in value. Surely not every inch of that 87 percent of Nevada under the absentee-landlordship of the federal government is critical to the national interest. Perhaps Mr. Bundy would like to buy some land where he can graze his cattle.
As government grows ever-larger, majority rule becomes more consequential for minority populations. The regulatory state grows, and rural Americans are left with little recourse. The courts won’t overturn regulatory actions absent a clearly-identified liberty interest (with the law granting wide discretion to federal agencies), in many states legislatures are dominated by urban voting blocs, and — particularly in the West — massive federal ownership of land means the voice of the local farmer or landowner is diluted into meaninglessness within the larger national debate.
With few options left within conventional politics, rural Americans are beginning to contemplate more dramatic measures, such as the state secession movements building in Colorado, Maryland, California, and elsewhere. The more viable state secession movements aim to limit urban control by literally removing rural counties from their states and forming new states around geographic regions of common interests…
The long-term solution is simple to conceptualize but difficult to accomplish: de-escalate the stakes of our political disputes by limiting the power of government over American lives. Americans have always had profound differences, and we live together with those differences when victory for one side doesn’t mean inflicting real harm on the losers. But when victory for one side means the end of a way of life for the losers, instability can and will result.
Beck said on his television program Monday that, according to PsyID, a company that monitors social media, between 10 and 15 percent of those who are taking a stand for Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy are “truly frightening” and “don’t care what the facts are; they just want a fight.” Beck likened them to “the right’s version of Occupy Wall Street.”
“Right now,” Beck continued on his radio program, “if you go to my Facebook page, you will see these people everywhere. They are the people that are full of anger and rage … The common theme seems to be, ‘I’m shocked at Glenn Beck. I always knew he was a fraud.’”…
“I want you to listen carefully to it, because I am planting my flag here,” Beck said. “If you are somebody that says ‘I’m for violence … I am angry and I’m not going to take it anymore, and I’m going to act on that anger,’ then I want you to go to my Facebook page and unfriend me. I want you to go to my newsletter page and I want you to unsubscribe. I want you to go to TheBlaze TV and I want you to cancel your subscription today.”