They had traveled from various corners of the nation. They brought plenty of colorful signs, along with big guns. They came in buses, cars, and even a few motorcycles. And the national media showered them with the attention they so craved.
Of course, we're reminiscing about the "Showdown in Searchlight" that happened just over 4 years ago. G-O-TEA Culture Warriors from across the nation wanted to send Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) a "message", so they descended upon Senator Reid's hometown. Michele Fiore made her bug debut. Sue Lowden tried so hard to buy the baggers' love. But ultimately, their hearts belonged to Sharron Angle. And most of the people there couldn't vote for any of them.
Sound familiar yet? We're seeing the same dynamics, and even some of the same characters, reemerge at #BundyRanch. Sharron Angle's "Second Amendment Remedies" have taken center stage. Assembly Member Michele Fiore (R-Las Vegas) shocked the entire nation with her bizarre defense of Cliven Bundy's brazen lawlessness. And a number of other Republican politicians have jumped in to grandstand while the Koch funded astroturf outfits have tried to use this "SCANDAL!!!" to further their ideological agenda.
Oh, and let's not forget the TV "infotainment" channel that's been trying to turn Cliven Bundy's temper tantrum into a ratings bonanza.
To be fair, there is one key difference. In 2010, the G-O-TEA Culture Warriors left Searchlight after their day long "Teabag-a-palooza". But now, the G-O-TEA Culture Warriors are still running wild around Mesquite. And they're still packing heat.
In a way, this has been an opportunity for some to relive their "counterculture days" in a whole new way. This has been their long fantasized chance to "Stick it to the man!" and celebrate "FREEDOM!" Perhaps this is just #TeaPartyWoodstock? (Or at least #TeaPartyAltamont?)
Think about it. Envision the colorful signs. Listen to the blaring music. Picture the crowd of rebels with (?) a cause. And notice their zeal in challenging authority. Are the throngs of 'baggers who've been rushing to #BundyRanch just "hippies gone right wing"?
If only we were just talking about a rowdy rock concert. Instead, we're talking about people rallying behind people advocating armed rebellion against the United States. And we're left wondering this: Whatever happened to peace, love, and understanding... And paying one's bills?