Politics and the Bundy Ranch Standoff

Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight

Cliven BundyGOP presidential hopefuls are largely steering clear of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s fight with the federal government.

The showdown, which left armed militia members and feds staring each other down last week, has captivated talk radio and cable news shows, turning Bundy into a conservative cause célèbre.

Yet Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former Arkansas Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee are the only big-name GOP stars to have spoken out on the dispute so far.

Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been silent, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have also not commented on Bundy, who has been fighting the federal government in and out of court for more than 20 years over his refusal to pay grazing fees. SOURCE

In regards to the Cliven Bundy event in Nevada I am not going to say too much either way about who is right and who is wrong. Truthfully, I don’t know and neither do any of the multitudes of bloggers and sensationalists that have knocked out volumes about this stand-off, its causes and its outcome.

I do know that at this time nothing has been settled, one way or another.

I DO believe that there is a lot of *politics* being played out on the grand stage of life and as with any theater, it’s all in the interpretation.

Is it wise for politicians to stay quiet over this dustup in Nevada? Some seem to think so.

All three offices did not respond to calls for this story.

GOP strategists suggested that Bundy’s case is far too risky for most candidates eyeing the presidency, particularly given the possibility of armed conflict with federal police.

“The Republican Party’s very sympathetic to Cliven Bundy’s property rights, states’ rights argument,” said strategist Ford O’Connell, who worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “But many Republicans also prize the rule of law above all else. Right or wrong, Bundy had his day in court and lost.”

A strong belief in the *rule of law* is why I am having difficulty with all the reasons why, from both sides.

We know Mr. Bundy has had his day in court, and we know that he has been ruled against. Even though this is *public land* it is MY understanding that the BLM and U.S. government can indeed charge Bundy for grazing rights. The courts seem to think so.

Bundy and his family may have been grazing cattle on this land for 150 years, but as I understand it, they don’t OWN the land, they aren’t even leasing; it is PUBLIC LAND and again, as I understand it, Bundy and family are basically *squatters*.

If Mr. Bundy did indeed hold title to this land and the federal government was seeking to remove him, from HIS land, then that could, and should be called a LAND GRAB, but if the land is NOT privately owned then Mr. Bundy is, in MY opinion, subject to paying fees or being evicted from property that is NOT his.

On the other hand; if Mr. Bundy were the LEGAL OWNER of this land, or if he were a lessor paying to graze his cattle on the land in question, and if the Federal government were to come in and attempt to illegally evict him, that would be, in MY opinion, a fight worth fighting and a cause worth supporting.

If you own a piece of land, a home or other property, material things that you have paid for, and in the case of a home and/or land, pay taxes on, and you are indeed paid up on those taxes and the government wants to come in and evict you, then that would be, in MY opinion, a fight worth fighting and a cause worth supporting.

Regarding Harry Reid and the claims that he and his Son are somehow involved in a business deal with a Chinese concern and the land in question being a part of the deal; I am of the opinion that this too is a matter for the courts to decide. We are, after all, a nation of laws and that is what the courts are set up to do; interpret those laws and then render a decision.

A person may not like the decision, that is why we have *appeals courts* and why the Supreme Court is the final authority on ALL decisions, but I have never seen or heard of a person anywhere that LOST a case in court that was happy with the decision.

A lot like you how never hear a convicted criminal say, “You know, I’m glad they caught me and took me off the street, I am a BAD man..”

And one other thing; to those that say the Law Enforcement Officers went too far in their response with SWAT Teams and so forth, unless you have ever had to face down an armed citizenry that is threatening your life, shut the hell up. Cops have combat gear and heavy weapons capability. Deal with it!

I am all for standing for what is right and just, but anarchy is not on MY menu.

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24 Responses to Politics and the Bundy Ranch Standoff

  1. Alan Caruba says:

    As I noted in my commentary on this topic, Bundy should have paid the grazing fees. He lost in court when he resisted them. Either we have a nation of law or we do not. What provoked so much comment was the manner in which the government acted. Was all the firepower necessary to round up some cattle?

    What makes this argument for obeying the law a problem is that those in the highest levels of our government are NOT doing that. Obama has NO authority to unilaterally change the Obamacare law. No need to cite other instances. The problem is we have people in power who think the law does not apply to them or, as in the case of Eric Holder, the Attorney General, he can enforce what he wants and ignore what he wants when it comes to the law. No, it doesn’t work that way.

    • TexasFred says:

      Yes indeed, the Federal government wants US to abide by the law but fails to hold the President and his regime to the same standards…

      • Dick Robie says:

        If what I understand is true, that his grandfather purchased grazing rights in the 1870’s, and the contract has been passed on from father to son–how can he owe grazing fee’s. Just presumption and tough to be sure if you cannot read the contract—–

  2. Ron Loken says:

    I agree with both of you.

  3. Grumpy says:

    It’s a mess Fred, in support of Bundy;

    As a part of the statehood process, Nevada had to transfer title to all unowned land in the State to the fed.. the flip side of that was the fed was supposed to transfer it back, like they have every state East of Colorado, and Hawaii – DC is in violation of Article I Section 8- Cl 17 – As it stands, the Fed is still treating the western states as territories with some representation in DC

    The permit BLM would have granted, had he paid his fees, would have only allowed him to graze 150 head, not enough to support the ranch.. He would have lost the ranch years ago by complying with the law..

    The Federal government has an unlimited legal budget, people don’t. The government knows this, and whether they are right or wrong, will use the court system to bankrupt anyone that fights them.

    The BLM has been accused of “questionable’ tactics in almost every state where they control most of the land..


    The protesters should not have made some of the comments they made about a showdown, more care should have been taken to keep weapons out of sight, that would have deprived the MSM of the ability to portray the protesters as violent extremists.. Remember, the people calling the protesters terrorists, were big time Occupy Wall Street supporters.

    Legally the government had the right to enforce the court order..

    They did not have the power to create Free Speech zones or threaten to kill people, many who were unarmed, for protesting..

    • BobF says:

      The Washington Post reported that the Federal Government owns 87% of the land in Nevada. Maybe it’s time that a majority of that land be given back to the State and it’s people who it rightfully belongs to.

      Having lived in Montana there’s one thing I found out and that was they hated Easterners telling them what they could and couldn’t do with their State and it’s land.

    • TexasFred says:

      Fully agreed, BOTH sides messed up on this one and I am guessing they BOTH will continue to do so…

  4. Bluebonnet Sue says:

    Since there are no “like” or “agree” buttons and I feel an urge to respond, I’ll just say, like Ron did, I agree with both of you: TexasFred and Alan Caruba.

  5. Dick Robie says:

    1. Mr. Bundy’s Grandfather, as I understand it, purchased grazing rights from the Fed in the 1870’s. Unlike other ranchers, he did not sell them back to the Fed. The “Contract” has been passed from father to son.

    2. I #1 iis true, and I am told it is-but who knows, then why must he pay the Fed Grazing fee’s. ???

    However, setting all that aside, sending an armed “army” is so far past the point of Government overreach that it is inexplicable. Armed invasion and destruction of property by the Federal Government is unnecessary, unwarranted and reminds me of Nazi Germany in the ’30’s.

    I do agree with Donald Trump, Mr. Bundy ought to negotiate and “cut a deal” and end this.

    The sad thing is that in my humble opinion, we have not seen the last of this sort of thing. Folks are getting real sick and tired of Federal Govt overreach into their private lives.

    Thank god no idiot on either side fired their weapons! One shot is all that it would have taken.

    God Bless America-the one I used to know that is. !!!!!

    • TexasFred says:

      IF the grandfather purchased unlimited grazing rights then Bundy needs to present that paperwork and this could ALL go away… No paperwork, no proof..

      • Dick Robie says:

        100% concur. Sure wish all the real facts would come out. One responder to this BLOG said the Fed was supposed to give our land back after we got Statehood. Sure would be nice if cooler heads would prevail and all this would Stop.

  6. Bunkerville says:

    Kevin Williamson has a post in the national review, The case for a little sedition. It gives a perspective that is worthy of a read. The so called rule of law these days is a one way street. Mark levin replay of April 15 is worth the trip. A much broader issue is at stake IMO, it is much more than grazing fees. I am unwilling to fall on my sword over this regime’s interpretation of the rule of law. Gopers, go for it.

  7. As a former officer of the law, I have been on both sides of violent confrontations. At one point, many decades ago, I was forced to draw my service revolver on my police officer partner who was beating a prisoner — already cuffed and face down on the ground. I had demanded that my fellow officer stop beating the man who was only drunk in public. I hate that that incident happened, but given the same set of circumstances again, I would react the very same way. There are just SOME things I won’t tolerate. (Actually, my wife would say there are a LOT of things I won’t tolerate. Maybe so.)

    I’m from the old school where a man is supposed to be a man of principle, a man of honor, a man of conviction, and one who has the courage of his convictions.

    It is my conviction, that even if Mr, Bundy is wrong, the government overreacted. Theirs was a exaggerated response — and it drew exactly the reaction from the public a sane person would expect.

    Whoever is/was in charge of planning that mission grossly underestimated the level of anger at the federal government already extant in Nevada and points west. He/she placed those officers in unnecessary danger — and worse still — placed the public in eminent danger, as well. Some BLM heads ought to roll over this, but I won’t hold my breath.

    So far as the courts are concerned, after the current Supreme Court sold out the American people over Obamacare, my faith in our judicial system has been badly shaken. Apparently, I’m not alone.

    Great piece, Fred!


  8. mrchuck says:

    Also,,, The environmentalists learned back in the 70’s to apply and get hired into these BLM and USFS agencies and get promoted into higher positions and then “they” could change the direction towards their making environmental zealot decisions.
    Yes, this is what they have done, from inside their respective agencies.
    Their favorite word is to “mediate”.
    All their actions are supported by studies of the area they want to change.
    These “studies” are worth your reading. Then you will really know what’s up !!!

  9. Wayne says:

    Fred, you seem to be on the fence on this one. I like Carubas’ take on the issue. Judge Napolitanos’ argument was interesting too. I feel that the fed has taken the side of the radical environmentalists on the land preservation thing and they may have trumped up a lot of bogus claims about management of these thousands of acres in Nevada and other states out west. If people like the Reids are involved, it smells bad from the start. I want to know more about how can Nevada and other states be states when they don’t own but such a small piece of the lands they profess as defined states? 87% is OWNED by the GOVERNMENT? Aren’t WE THE PEOPLE the SOVERIGN? The rule of law seems to only apply to the RULED.

    • Dick Robie says:

      Points well taken. Consider this hypothisis–get Bundy off the land–someone buy the land–resell the land to a developer–like a Solar company. Could be done thru a complicated and inexpensive corporate chain so no one in particular would be tied to it. Just sayin————-

    • TexasFred says:

      Wayne, not really on the fence, just not sure we’re hearing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, from ANY of ’em…

  10. LD Jackson says:

    Personally, I think Mr. Bundy should have went ahead and paid the grazing fees. Having said that, it is true that the BLM was trying to limit the number of cattle he grazed, to the point that his ranch would have been no longer viable to maintain. They clearly wanted him off the land, grazing fees or not.

    The feds overreacted in a major way and I believe they realized, once they were in the middle of the operation, that they would not be able to win this fight, unless they were willing to kill more than a few American citizens. I believe that is why they pulled back. My real question is will they be willing to be so reserved the next time something like this happens.

    • TexasFred says:

      If nothing else, this post has spurred some great and thoughtful comments…

      Larry, I agree, 100%, BOTH sides need to step back, take a deep breath, count to 10, have a cold beer, something… Too many people are thinking with their hearts and not their heads…

      • LD Jackson says:

        You are exactly right. I read that one guy even said he would put his own wife and daughter on the front lines to be killed first because it would look worse for the feds if they were. That doesn’t sound like an American, but more like some Islamic extremist.

  11. Wayne says:

    Hey! Just heard dingy Harry made a remark about the domestic terrorists being in opposition to “government sponsored terrorists”. Or do I have that wrong?

    • Dick Robie says:

      You don’t have it wrong. HRH Reid said just that–we the people who were present at the federally induced fiasco are Domestic Terrorists. Well, for HRH Reid–the Federal Government has its own SS–

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