The armed right-wing extremists who’ve taken over a federal building at a wildlife refuge in Oregon just keep digging themselves into an even deeper hole with their past unlawful indiscretions coming home to roost.
It seems the government’s idea to wait them out has turned them into an even bigger joke than they already are.
So, of course Bill Maher took them to task on Friday’s ‘Real Time: New Rules’.
‘They keep on promising to ‘occupy that building until… well we’re not really sure’ Maher mocked the disorganized cult of stupidity.
‘And they’re not sure – something about ‘redneck lives matter.’
He showed the strange video that anti-Islam activist John Ritzheimer made for his kids explaining his participation in the Oregon siege: ‘Daddy swore an oath’ he said.
The reality is the guy was just going to extreme lengths to avoid his family during the holidays – Maher quipped.
‘Why not just drink like the rest of us?’ Maher joked.
Anti-government diatribes from the prime beneficiaries of government programs?
How the GOP lies to white America.
The men occupying Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge represent a bizarre contradiction.
They howl about the overreach of the federal government but they are among the biggest beneficiaries of government programs.
For 150 years their brand of logic has pitted individuals against an activist government – Western cowboys against black Americans and the West against the East.
Behind their protest is a uniquely American story that welds racism to anti-government sentiment.
It comes from a peculiar coincidence of timing: that Reconstruction after the Civil War coincided with U.S. expansion into the American West.Real ‘patriots’ the Bundys claim stand against a behemoth government that has grasped their lands and their rights.America after all is made by ambitious individuals working their way up.A government that promotes social welfare or regulates business destroys the American system because it both limits a man’s ability to make money and requires tax revenue.Those taxes strike at the very heart of individualism because they redistribute money from hard workers to lazy people.
Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their compatriots are quite clear about exactly who those lazy people are.
The younger Bundys’ father Cliven – the Nevada rancher who started an armed standoff with government officials in 2014 over grazing rights – had plenty to say about the ‘Negro’ who lived in government housing and ‘didn’t have nothing to do’.
African-Americans’ laziness led them to abort their children and send their young men to jail.
Bundy wondered: ‘are they better off as slaves – picking cotton and having a family life… or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom’.
Aside from animal kill programs that protect herds, drought relief payments, and the 93 percent discount at which the government assesses grazing fees – Ammon Bundy borrowed more than $500,000 from the federal government through a loan guarantee program for small businesses.
Ammon Bundy’s father Cliven, owes the government more than $1 million in grazing fees for running his cattle on public land.
No matter how you slice it taxpayers have subsidized the Bundys.
Observers have made much of this obvious contradiction.
But it is not a sign only of the Bundys’ lack of self-awareness or even simply of white supremacy.
It is the intellectual formula that has driven American politics since 1980.