There are new rumors going around about Cliven. We all know that with the media, words are taken out of context, meanings are twisted, and they can take anything and turn it into what they want it to be. Cliven is a good man, he loves all people, he is not a racist man. He wants what is best for everyone.

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“I said I’m wondering if they’re better off under government subsidies,” Bundy said. “And their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail, and their older women and their children are standing, sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do, you know. … And so, in my mind, I’m wondering, are they better off being slaves in that sense, or are they better off being slaves to the United States government, in the sense of the subsidies. I’m wondering. And the statement was right.”

He continued digging further, at times talking about how he thought it was worthy to wonder whether blacks were “better off” under slavery because “their men [had] something to do” and they could have been “happier at home, with their gardens and their chickens.”

“They’re not slaves no more. They seem to be slaves to the welfare system,” Bundy said. “Slavery’s about when you take away choices from people.”

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Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Dean Heller on Thursday both denounced as “offensive” and “racist” Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s recent comments about African-Americans.

“His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,” Paul said in a statement, according to Business Insider.

“Senator Heller completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way,” Heller spokeswoman Chandler Smith said in a statement.

Both Paul and Heller have previously defended Bundy, the Nevada rancher who is in a standoff against the federal government. Heller has referred to his supporters as “patriots.”

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“There’s nothing conservative about this man,” Scarborough said. “This is where nihilism about the federal government gets you in trouble every time.”

“This has happened before. It happened when conservatives raced blindly to put their arms around George Zimmerman, a man who gets in all these troubles. They basically pick their friends based on who their ‘enemies’ are. In this case, a lot of people in conservative media have raced to this guy’s defense. They must be feeling very exposed this morning.”

“It was so obvious that this guy was unhinged,” TIME’s Michael Crowley said. “Guys like this and Ted Nugent are doing a favor to the left, a favor to Democrats. To the extent that there are interesting, intellectually credible strains of conservative thought about limiting government authority, people like this get associated with them, and make them look ridiculous.”

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Most Republicans and anti-government groups didn’t have any damage control to begin with — because they had never hugged Bundy in the first place. They knew better. Not because they knew anything about his racial views, but because they knew that there were better heroes for the fight against big government than a guy who wouldn’t pay his grazing fees for 20 years.

But Paul, Cruz, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry all said Bundy’s fight highlighted important issues about the power of the federal government — and Heller called Bundy’s supporters “patriots” in a TV debate last week, according to Roll Call…

“I think people were just looking for someone to attach themselves to because they liked the cause,” the activist said. “This is what you get for that. This is how it ends up.”

“What you’ve done, if you’re a conservative, is you’ve just given the left a huge issue to use against you,” the Nevada activist said. The next time conservatives question the BLM’s tactics as an example of government overreach, the activist said, “the first question from now until eternity will be, ‘Oh, you’re a Bundy supporter.’”

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Bundy’s comments do serious harm to the conservative brand. They confirm the worst paranoid fantasies of those predisposed to mistrust conservative broadcasters and pundits. One would think that this self-evident threat to the right-leaning media’s credibility would prompt the conservative commentariat to immediately dismiss Bundy and his dubious gripe against the BLM. But old habits die hard…

Conservatives cannot now defend Bundy’s cause while subtly and defensively denouncing his comments. A full-throated condemnation of Bundy is due. The conservative media’s crusade against the BLM’s overreach may be forever stained as a result of the figure they elevated as its champion. If those aligned with the GOP continue to entertain Bundy as a legitimate political actor, it will only further alienate minorities – without whom, conservatives will have a difficult time recapturing control of the White House.

So what is the bigger prize, conservatives? Political power and legitimacy conferred by majorities at the ballot box, or your pride which is now tied up with an individual unambiguously unsuited to the role of martyr. Do not take too long to answer.

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First, to take the quote at face value it’s odd and sounds offensive. You’re talking about government overreach and you go into this story? Secondly, I hope no one is surprised that an old man rancher isn’t media trained to express himself perfectly. He seems to be decrying what big government has done to the black family — which big government has negatively affected not just the black family, but all families regardless of ethnicity — so perhaps he included that in his remarks against big government? I’m just trying to figure out how he even got to the point of discussing it and yes, it’s justified to have a healthy suspicion of the New York Times. I’d be more inclined to believe that the left’s outrage is genuine had it been consistent (to say nothing of Harry Reid). Notice how the NYT immediately went to the politicians involved. If Bundy is a racist, that is awful, but what exactly does that have to do with the BLM? I’ve been saying for weeks that this isn’t about one rancher. It’s about government overreach. It’s about a paramilitarized bureaucratic entity responding to collect a bill in dispute due to arguments over state ownership and open range laws. It’s about a bureaucratic entity bypassing state and local laws — which I discussed with Judge Andrew Napolitano on my program — in court procedures and law enforcement.

Does Cliven Bundy’s remark make Tommy Henderson, Raymond Yowell, Kenni Patton, and other ranchers in Nevada and north Texas racists then because they also have issues with the BLM?

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I don’t know if Bundy’s grazing dispute has any merit. And I certainly wouldn’t subscribe to his newsletter. All I know is that he’s the latest private citizen to stand up to the government and be excoriated by the media for it. Like Kira said, it’s not about one guy. It’s about the media abusing their power to stifle dissent against government control. Just ask anybody who’s been raked over the coals for daring to complain about their health insurance. Ask Joe the Plumber. Ask Ben Carson. Ask Carrie Prejean. Ask anybody who inconveniences the left.

The message is simple: Submit, or this will happen to you too. And it’ll continue, whether or not some rancher you’ve never heard of is a dumb bigot.

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Critics on the left, being an ignorant bunch, may be unaware of the fact, but the example of Mohandas Gandhi is here particularly apt, given that the great man had some pretty creepy ideas about everything from race to homosexuality, for example writing that blacks aspired to nothing more than passing their time in “indolence and nakedness,” objecting to blacks’ being housed in Indian neighborhoods, etc. Americans, many of whom seem to believe that Mr. Gandhi’s first name was “Mahatma,” generally confuse the Indian historical figure, a man whose biography contains some complexity, with the relatively straightforward character from the Richard Attenborough movie. We remember Gandhi and admire him because he was right about the thing most closely associated with him. In the same way, there is more to the life of Thomas Jefferson than his having been a slave owner. The question of standing in opposition to a domineering federal government that acts as the absentee landlord for nine-tenths of the state of Nevada is only incidentally related to Cliven Bundy’s having backward views about race. Mr. Bundy’s remarks reflect poorly on the man, not on the issue with which the man is associated…

Because our political discourse is conducted at the lowest possible intellectual level, expect to hear me, Sean Hannity, and everybody else who has encouraged Mr. Bundy in his confrontation with the federal authorities to be denounced as a racist. I’ve been here before: Criticize the IRS for its abuse of power? Martin Bashir says you’re a racist. Note that Barack Obama went to Harvard? Jonathan Capehart says you’re a racist. Etc. Bill Clinton bestows the nation’s highest civilian honor on a noted and fairly nasty segregationist? Barack Obama sits for years upon years listening to racist harangues in his church? Uh . . . When it is convenient for the Left to ignore racial nastiness, it does so. That’s why Al Sharpton has a show on MSNBC, which also indulged Melissa Harris-Perry’s grotesquely racist remarks about adoption. When it is convenient to ignore something else, then racial nastiness is the only subject of conversation. This is going to be one of those times — never mind the other issues in question here.

There’s no explaining away Mr. Bundy’s remarks, and I abhor them, and am pleased that Rich Lowry and others have taken the time to address them.

There’s no explaining away the lawlessness of the Obama administration or the crimes of the IRS, either. A nation can survive its cranks, but not a criminal government.

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