When a group of self-declared militiamen raided and seized the federal buildings on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon many on the left called for the federal government to immediately shut it down even though the trespassers are well-armed and clearly eager to turn into martyrs for the incoherent right-wing cause they stand for.So far however the government shows no interest in giving the militia the violent showdown they long for – instead seeming content to wait them out – secure in the knowledge that this particular bunch of idiots are not the hard asses they pretend to be and will likely get cold or bored and leave on their own soon enough – tails tucked neatly between their legs.
It turns out that this is the best possible decision federal authorities could have made.
In fact it’s increasingly clear that this clown show is if anything a huge gift to liberals.
Every day that these yahoos are out there they expose how empty and stupid the myth of the ‘rugged individual’ that the right so romanticizes really is.
Instead – we get to see that these supposedly rugged individuals are in reality extremely silly people who are mostly there to play dress-up – engage in fantasies of self-importance and beg the government to give them free money so they can get rich.
All liberals need to do to make the cause of Western ‘libertarianism’ look stupid is to sit back and let these Oregon militiamen keep making fools of themselves.
The only big action that the militia has taken besides doing a bunch of news conferences where they play at a being tough guys is tearing down a fence put up to keep privately owned cattle from grazing on public lands.
This action was meant to drive home their main demand which is for the federal government to give ranchers across the West free land to graze cattle with.
It’s hard to overstate how ridiculous and incoherent this demand is.
These men are to the last one pretty hard-line conservatives with ringleader Ammon Bundy being a registered Republican and Tea Party sympathizer.
In other words these are people who want to dismantle the social safety net and resent the federal government providing basic life necessities to people in need such as food – shelter and healthcare.
But while they resent every bite of food going into a poor child’s mouth they are threatening a violent standoff on the grounds that the taxpayers should be feeding their cows for free.
And let’s be clear this isn’t a ‘cow rights’ issue.
They want the taxpayers to feed their cows but rest assured they plan to keep all the profits off selling the cows we fattened up for them.
It’s the equivalent of a car company asking the government to simply give them the steel for free to make cars.
Their ability to make themselves look bad isn’t just limited to exposing the naked greed and entitlement underlying their demands.
They’re also reminding the public that they live in a fantasy world and their stunt is little more than an opportunity for a big game of Let’s Play Pretend.