Tagged: Cliven Bundy


The Cliven Bundy-style bandits terrorizing Oregon are the face of American conservatism today: lawless, thoughtless, and anti-American.

Conservative radicalization continues without abatement.

Banditry has no constitutional protection.

The Great Purge of the Labour Party is underway. Mr Benn is being fitted for the Rykov role.

Shabby treatment of the man who has made HBO millions. The last time a genius was treated this poorly was 1616.

Party out of bounds


As news meanders across the political media universe that Jeb Bush’s email dump revealed sensitive personal information about 12,000 people, raising the spectre of another incompetent Bush in the White House, one wonders how he would be able to navigate a successful primary run for the Republican nomination. The Republican Party is not a single entity but rather an unappetizing ragout of functionally incompatible factions:

1. A tiny rump of reasonably rational Republicans, the so-called Establishment which caters to Wall Street and maintains a respectable 10 handicap.

2. A Tea Party faction that is the driving force in Republican political psychology. The Tea Party has several wings:

(a) a wacky libertarian wing (e.g., Rand Paul) comprised of Isolationists, Anti-Vaxxers, the Gun Lobby, and Gold Bugs.

(b) a social conservative, religious wing (Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin) that is  obsessed about addicted to talking about gay sex.

(c) a bandit wing (e.g., Cliven Bundy, paranoid militias and survivalists living in fortified bunkers, White Supremacists in Idaho) that is ready to engage in the violent overthrow of the US government.

(d) a classic poujadist wing comprised of people who want free services from government but don’t want to pay taxes.

3. A “Bomb Iran” caucus (e.g., John McCain and Lindsay Graham), which sometimes overlaps with the “Bomb Moscow, But Make Putin Our Presidential Nominee First” caucus (e.g., John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Franklin Graham, Steven Seagal, etc.), and the “Bomb Everyone We Dislike to Show We’re Manly Men” caucus (e.g., John McCain and Lindsay Graham).

2016 may not be the year for another RINO, which is the tag of death for a moderate Republican like Mr Bush.

Selling the ranch

At least since 1965, the Republican Party has cultivated, sometimes overtly, mostly covertly, the garden from which the sentiments about the “Negro” expressed by Cliven Bundy grow. It believes that a significant portion of its electoral base is emotionally engaged with these sentiments and that it would be wise to avoid causing this base any offense. I’ve wondered if there would actually be any risk to the Republican Party if it were to more actively censure elected officials who dance with the devil of racial resentment. Is the Republicans’ “southern strategy” still necessary in 2014? Does the Party still fear that a George Wallace will emerge to steal away votes from it during the 2016 Presidential election?

It is not impossible for the Republican Party to compete with Democrats on the basis of the promotion its small government, free enterprise, and individual liberty credo without embracing anti-black or anti-latino statements. The Republican Party could malign the Democrats as Big Government Big Spenders, as hostile to business and individual freedom, all without having to disparage racial and ethnic minorities.

However, it could be the case that the scenario I imagine for Republican resistance to racist temptations is hopelessly rosy. The problem may be more deeply rooted in Republican “ideology.” From this point of view, the Republican Party made a fatal faustian bargain when it sought the votes of disgruntled southern segregationists (in the wake of 1968). Since then, its electoral fortunes depend on the affirmation of the residual racial animus of that region, from the segment of its population that longs for the south to rise again to its former Confederate glory.

Criminal world

States’ rights fundis fight for a piece of dirt in Nevada. If that’s where they want to stage their last stand, so be it!

Cliven Bundy is an ante-bellum man. He’s replaced Sarah Palin as the leading Tea Party candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

Rand Paul is still the leading conservative intellectual, though.

Donald Sterling is a distraction from Cliven Bundy.


Aisle of plenty

I certainly hope the internet is a CIA project. God forbid if the internet were run by Google or Facebook.

For a time, Oasis was the best band on the planet.

I hope this doesn’t drive up the cost of Cornish hens.

I prefer the use of the word boil (e.g., a “boil of resentment on the body politic”), which has the connotation of plague, contagion, and fleas.

If you turn over a states’ rights libertarian, a clone of John C. Calhoun will crawl out.

The Duchess of Cambridge brightened the southern hemisphere. Now winter is coming.

Don’t think it’s appropriate for a newspaper to describe the future British monarch as “wriggling and squealing.”


Wrap your troubles in dreams

We are pretty familiar with this story: A perfectly sensible if slightly boring idea is walking down the street. Suddenly, the ideological circus descends, burying the sensible idea in hysterical claims and fevered accusations. The idea’s political backers beat a craven retreat. The idea dies.

This is what seems to be happening to the Common Core education standards, which are being attacked on the right because they are common and on the left because they are core.

Finally, a sensible column from David Brooks.

Men and women tick the same. We all want free wifi; a quality, artisanally poured latte; and the latest Carsick Cars album (on vinyl).

Hiding pot from kids works no better than hiding sex from them. Eventually, they figure out you’ve done it (at least once).

Religion is the bane of politics.

Benghazi is a distraction from the Bundy Ranch.

Blood moon

Berlusconi sentenced to community service: the Italian Justice system bungas it.

Eastern Europe hasn’t had a decent land battle in decades. This is Mr Putin’s chance to claim the mantle of Alexander Nevsky.

Angus Young wearing schoolboy pants onstage at age 59 would be an absolute parody of a parody. Even Jimmy Page ditched his white satin, dragon-embroidered jumpsuit a long time ago in exchange for much classier togs.

Back in the day, the Blackstone Rangers were solid.

As far as Republican Party heroes go, Mr Bundy would be a slight improvement on David Koresh, Randy Weaver, and the Missouri State Fair rodeo clown.