Posted on | April 24, 2014 | 78 Comments
One of the joys of being an independent blogger is that you don’t have to pay attention to anything that doesn’t interest you, or about which you have nothing helpful to say. At least 90% of what Fox News and talk radio spend their time blabbering about falls into that category for me. It’s not that those stories aren’t important. Rather the question is, what’s the point in me becoming the 143rd blogger to add my two cents on a particular story, unless I have something to say that hasn’t already been said better by someone else?
This “value-added” approach to blogging explains why I haven’t had anything to say about the Cliven Bundy BLM confrontation. There were a couple of times in recent days when I almost blogged about it, but then something else would catch my eye — who can resist a LESBIAN POLYGAMY headline? — and I’d forget about it. But so what? Everybody was blogging about the Bundy story, and the value of my two cents would have been negligible anyway.
That stance changed this morning when I noticed Dana Loesch discussing how a Politico reporter asked her to comment on some controversial racial remarks made by Cliven Bundy:
I’ve only ever focused on the BLM. In fact, I repeatedly said on my radio program that this isn’t about Cliven Bundy, it’s always been about the abuse of the BLM. The left is unhappy with this because they want to use Bundy’s remark to invalidate the entirety of the claims against the BLM. Forget Tommy Henderson, Kenni Patton, or other ranchers who have weighty claims against the BLM, it’s all moot now because of Cliven Bundy. Bundy’s a racist, therefore anyone who agreed with his criticism of the BLM’s heavy-handed tactics is also a racist. Bundy’s a racist, thus the politicians who spoke against the BLM sending 200 armed agents to deal with a local issue must also be racists. Now it’s the left who wants to make this about Bundy and his remark so they can silence all criticism of the BLM. In their minds, you can’t condemn Bundy’s remark and criticize the BLM. . . .
Bundy’s horrible remark doesn’t change that the BLM is overreaching.
Exactly so, Dana. This calls to mind, by the way, Andrew Breitbart’s insistence on “vetting” people before associating himself with them. Andrew understood that, in order to be in the white-hot heat of the national spotlight, he had to be “clean” of any unsavory associations, and he was careful to make sure he checked people out, sometimes in ways that offended them. But I digress . . .
The top of Memeorandum is now covered with reactions to Bundy’s “Negro” remarks, including condemnation by the eminent Nevada civil rights leader Harry Reid (eye-roll) and predictable celebratory jeering from the usual suspects, e.g., Slate.
Yet Dana’s point still holds: Bundy’s unfortunate remarks do not in the least justify the abusive conduct of the BLM. Do we have to conduct tests of people’s opinions on every controversial issue before we recognize their fundamental rights? And who will be the arbiter of which opinions are and are not acceptable? Will NARAL be the judge of what is acceptable to think about abortion? Will we authorize GLAAD to investigate people’s views on homosexuality? And will such judgments then be made the basis of whether a citizen is entitled to keep his life, liberty and property? Good God! Would liberals have tolerated this attitude toward suspected Communist subversives?
It should suffice to say that Bundy’s comments reflect opinions that are probably not uncommon among elderly white Nevada ranchers, who don’t waste much time wondering if their opinions (on race or anything else) are acceptably progressive. But the terroristic fury of an online lynch mob has had its intended effect: Republican politicians are predictably scuttling for cover, and very few of Bundy’s erstwhile supporters have been able to withstand the onslaught with anything like courage or dignity.
Among the dignified few is Kevin Williamson of National Review:
National Review correspondent Kevin Williamson, who recently compared Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy to Mahatma Gandhi, told TPM in an email on Thursday that he thought Bundy’s racially charged comments were “lamentable” but they were “separate” from Bundy’s standoff with the Bureau of Land Management. “Mr. Bundy’s racial rhetoric is lamentable and backward,” Williamson said in an email. “It is also separate from the fundamental question here, which is the federal government’s acting as an absentee landlord for nine-tenths of the state of Nevada.” “I very strongly suspect that most of the men who died at the Alamo held a great many views that I would find repugnant; we remember them for other reasons.”
Hear! Hear! And it’s not just the Alamo.
Has anyone ever bothered to investigate, for example, the racial opinions of those American heroes of the 101st Airborne Division who, surrounded by Hitler’s army at Bastogne, held firm to that crucial crossroads at peril of their lives? An awful lot of brave young G.I.’s probably died in the snow there — just like American boys died on the beach at Normandy, at Okinawa, at Iwo Jima — whose private opinions would today categorize them among the racists, sexists and homophobes that everyone with a WiFi connection now hastens to condemn.
Indeed, the careful student of history may be startled to learn the degree to which the Union troops whose victory in the Civil War secured the freedom of millions of slaves, were themselves quite frankly racist. For that matter, many of Abraham Lincoln’s statements about race were nearly as “lamentable and backward” as what Cliven Bundy said.
So I never said a word about Cliven Bundy until the Left decided to turn the old rancher into a symbol of “right-wing racism,” and now I’ve only got three more words to say: “Fuck you. War.”