I have been hearing from conservative pundits that the case of Cliven Bundy and his Great Cowpoke Adventure is actually a legitimate case of "civil disobedience." Bundy, according to National Review Online writers, is just like Ghandi...or perhaps George Washington. No, seriously....that's what is being written in defense of Rancher Bundy.
NRO's Rich Lowry claimed that Americans should have "sympathy" for Bundy even though Lowry also admitted that Bundy was wrong about the authority of the federal government. But Lowry states that what Bundy and his defenders are doing by protesting is in the "best American tradition of civil disobedience."
Which stuck me as very, very strange. Not your usual NRO-strange, either. And when stuff seems out of whack, I always have a lot of questions.
For example: Why shouldn't conservative writers feel sympathetic towards a shoplifter who gets caught and is accused by a judge of, you know, stealing? Sure, the shoplifter is just taking stuff that doesn't belong to him....but why shouldn't the act of shoplifting be understood as being in our "best American tradition of civil disobedience?" If Bundy's 20 year streak of violating federal law is actually a sympathetic, patriotic action of civil disobedience....why shouldn't a shoplifter be able to claim the same?
'Yes, your honor, I know I broke the law when I shoplifted that digital camera....but your honor, what I did was an action of civil disobedience. I just think the authorities have too much power to stop me from taking stuff that I want.....so my action, which your honor you call stealing.....must be understood as the sympathetic action of civil obedience it was intended for.'
'And anyway, your honor.....my shoplifting should be ignored and your case against me dropped because those cops who arrested me were carrying guns....a clear display of intimidation, some call it thuggery, a completely unnecessary show of force your honor, while I was in the middle of stealing other people's stuff in an act of civil disobedience.'
Conservatives, as I've shared in the past, change not.....until they do. Those eternal principles that conservatives say they cherish so dearly....like rule of law and freedom....are clung to by conservatives as changeless axioms handed down by god....until they're not.
One clear example of this changelessness is the conservative stance on immigration. Those 11 or 12 million undocumented immigrants living inside the U.S. are "lawbreakers" who have "knowingly broken the law" when they entered America illegally. Because conservatives honor the rule of law above anything else, Republicans who represent those conservatives in Congress refuse to create "a pathway to citizenship" for undocumenteds because doing so would be "amnesty", a huge act of disrespect for basic law and order.
The fact that entering the country illegally is a misdeameanor doesn't matter to conservatives. The law is the law...and that is that....by god, no amnesty for lawbreakers.
Yet, many of the usual-suspect conservatives who just hate amnesty.....are the leading voices in defense of Cliven Bundy's act of "civil disobedience" in stealing over a million dollars from U.S. tax payers.
This cowpoke episode is a prime example of what many of the loudest conservatives mean when they speak of respect for law and order. What conservatives say about law and order changes as the political hate-winds dictate.
Currently, conservative hate-winds dictate that AG Holder, President Obama and Harry Reid are the "bad" people involved in Cliven Bundy's open and defiant lawlessness. And Bundy? A guy who has stolen defiantly from U.S. taxpayers for 20 years running? He's like Martin Luther King or even George Washington.
About This Blog