The Rise & Fall of Cliven Bundy

It’s over. Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has been accused of stepping in a big cow pie. He is said to have committed the unpardonable sin. And probably didn’t even know he had done it until he read about it in the papers.

And no, I’m not going to defend what he supposedly said. And I’m not going to defend his refusal to pay legal fees for grazing his cattle on public lands. His position is that the state, not the federal government, is the legitimate owner. The feds disagreed, and sued to collect. In fact, they sought many rulings from judges over the past 20 years. Bundy lost every time. The law is the law. He may not like it, but he knew the deal when he put his cattle out to graze on land he didn’t own.

Mr. Bundy is probably a pretty good cattleman, but nobody ever accused him of being a mental giant. And he obviously never retained the services of a slick public relations firm to guide him through the PC mine fields before he went onto the national stage. But there are some details we do need to keep in mind.

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The media has been showing videos Mr. Bundy speaking publicly, giving the impression that he was broadcasting his now infamous statement far and wide. He wasn’t. The truth is, he made his statement to a New York Times reporter concerning a public-housing project in North Las Vegas. He should have known that speaking to a reporter, even “off the record,” is a no-no.

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Here’s what the New York Times reported, which is only a selected portion of what he said, taken out of context, just to make him look bad.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. … and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids – and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch – they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do. And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

His statement, taken in its entirety, doesn’t appear to be racist. But you be the judge. Go here to see for yourself.

It was a typical media trap, set by the New York Times reporter, and straight out of the Saul Alinsky handbook, Rules for Radicals:

Rule #12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

You and I have read and heard the same stories that the land Cliven Bundy does own is apparently very valuable to some very important people. And that is the issue. Not the cows. Not the grazing fees. Not the desert tortoises.

Nevada is not thought of as an oil-producing state. But since the discovery of oil in the Grant Canyon field in Railroad Valley, production of Nevada oil has tripled. Railroad Valley, an area approximately 80 miles long and 20 miles wide, is located in Clark County, NV. It has become the predominate area of oil and gas production in the state. The Grant Canyon well # 3, located there, may be the most productive onshore flowing well in the contiguous 48 states. Oil and gas operators currently working in Railroad Valley include Shell Oil, Gulf Oil, Texaco, Chevron, Marathon, Husky, Amoco, and Phillips Petroleum.

So guess what? Clive Bundy’s Clark County ranch is located smack-dab in the middle of Railroad Valley!

And guess who else is a native son of Clark County, NV? Democrat Senate Majority Leader, and multi-millionaire, Harry Reid! And guess how Senator Reid accumulated such a massive fortune while fulfilling his responsibilities as a “public servant” in Washington? You got it. Oil and Gas Company real estate investments.

And then there is the reporting of plans that Chinese energy giant ENN has to build massive solar facilities in that area. The government villain in all of this is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The director of BLM is Reid’s former senior adviser, Neil Kornze!

BLM had posted on its website, “Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle.” The agency removed it when the standoff became national news.

The “Non-Governmental Organization” referenced in the BLM announcement would be the Chinese giant, ENN. ENN’s lead attorney is Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid. Rory Reid is also former chairman of the Clark County Commission where the Bundy ranch is located. Get the picture?

Did the Bundy smear tactic work? Of course it did. Without having read or heard Mr. Bundy’s actual comments, his fair-weather-friends all ran for cover.

  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called Bundy’s racial comments “completely beyond the pale” and “100 percent wrong.”
  • Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said the remarks were “offensive.”
  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, “Those remarks are completely unacceptable.”
  • Glenn Beck said Bundy is “unhinged from reality” and urged his supporters to “end your relationship” with him.
  • Even Fox News host Sean Hannity — who had been one of Bundy’s leading champions — said the comments were “beyond repugnant.”

Mr. Bundy, his family, and well-intentioned friends, have lost. It’s over. The outcome was obvious from the beginning. The politically incorrect statement attributed to Mr. Bundy only served to hasten the end.

There is a moral to be learned from this story. And you won’t like it.


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