So we have another outbreak of outrage this week. But is it really all about cattle? Is there some sort of "overreach"? Or are the usual "OUTRAGED!!!" suspects missing the real reasons for outrage?
Cliven Bundy has been illegally letting his cows graze in the Gold Butte area for nearly 20 years. He has refused to pay grazing fees since 1993, and he has used some rather novel excuses to spin his brazen violation of federal law.
So why are Senator Dean Heller (R) & Governor Brian Sandoval (R) screaming about the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) stepping up to enforce the law? Are they really trying to argue that this is acceptable?
And is this what the NRA means when it claims "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun"? Could this explain why Heller & Sandoval have even opposed modest efforts at gun violence prevention?
And then, there's the issue of Bundy's specious claim to the land. That land isn't just his. It's ours. It belongs to all 300 million plus Americans. And if he doesn't believe that, he can read the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
That land also belongs to the wildlife who call Gold Butte home. Oh, and that land belonged to the Native Americans who called this region home long before our ancestors immigrated to this continent.
It's unfair to all the rest of us to allow one rancher to let his cattle trample upon the habitat of an endangered species (the desert tortoise). It's especially unfair to let that rancher let his cattle run rampant and ruin land that belongs to all of us. And it's particularly unfair to let this one rancher let his cattle run rampant when he's refused to pay the fee that all area ranchers must pay to use that public land. (After all, the BLM has to maintain this land for everyone.)
Oh, and haven't we talked about this before? Haven't we warned about this before? Haven't Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) delivered barn burning speeches about this? Hasn't the ongoing drought been reminding us of why we can't leave this unchecked?
If Senator Heller & Governor Sandoval are truly offended by what's going down at Gold Butte this week, then why don't they ask their fellow Republicans to stop denying the brutal reality of climate change? It's already having an effect on cattle ranchers. And pretty soon, it will have a major effect on all our lives if we don't step up our game.
Hey, someone had to do it. And since hardly anyone else is discussing the real reasons for outrage regarding this Cliven Bundy "scandal", we figured we might as well wade into this hot mess. So to recap, some G-O-TEA politicians are screaming at the BLM because the BLM is enforcing existing law. A rancher is willfully violating the law and encouraging armed rebellion against the federal government because he doesn't like the law. And meanwhile, the land itself and the original inhabitants of this land are reeling because we've allowed the land to be mistreated by the likes of Bundy... While we threaten the climate that's supposed to sustain this land.
Feeling outraged yet? At least now you understand why we are.