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Is fox news the plunger in this picture?If there’s anything the right loves, it’s Law & Order, because if you don’t respect the law, you’re a lawless criminal. Barack Obama, for instance, is a lawless renegade who thinks that the executive branch can make changes to how the Affordable Care Act is administered without asking permission from the Tea Party. And violators of immigration law all need to be deported — what part of “illegal alien” don’t you libs understand? And so it makes perfect sense that the rightwing media are calling for firm action in the case of a Nevada scofflaw who thinks the law doesn’t apply to him. Except that they are on the scofflaw’s side because in this case the scofflaw is a rancher named Cliven Bundy who says he doesn’t have to pay grazing fees or comply with a federal court order — which he’s been ignoring since 1998 — telling him to remove his cattle from federal land. In fact, they’re all but urging him to take an armed stand, agreeing with him that he’s in a fight against an out-of-control tyranny.

Media Matters sums up the highlights of Bundy’s beef with the tyrants in the federal government:

In 1993, Bundy began refusing to pay government fees required to allow his cattle to exploit public lands. In 1998, the government issued a court order telling Bundy to remove his cows from the land, as part of an effort to protect the endangered desert tortoise located there. And in July 2013, a federal court ordered Bundy to get his cattle off public land within 45 days or they would be confiscated. The confiscation began this month, and the cattle will be sold to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes.

It’s got everything — a romantic hero rancher/business man, an irrational bureaucracy that wants him to pay to run cattle on his family’s ancestral grazing land (OK, it’s federally owned land, but shut up), a stupid useless endangered species endangering a man’s livelihood, and the threat of confiscation. No wonder the guy’s the greatest folk hero since Randy Weaver. Here’s hoping he doesn’t have a bunker.

A whole raft of rightwing media figures have praised Bundy’s principled position that the law doesn’t apply to him (because he is a free man and the federal government shouldn’t enforce its own regulations if they cost a free man money). Sean Hannity said that Bundy shouldn’t have to pay grazing fees because grazing on public land “keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer,” Brian Kilmeade scoffed at the silliness of protecting endangered tortoise habitat, the Blaze pointed out that the federal agents confiscating the cattle are armed (armed law enforcement? POLICE STATE!), and Alex Jones, always happy to help, explained that the government is out to “enslave us in an [United Nations] Agenda 21 future where we have no property and no rights.” And just to make sure people get the point, Jones said of Bundy on his April 9 radio show,

“So your bottom line, like Paul Revere, you’re making your stand, you’re telling folks we’re being overrun by an out of control tyranny.”

We haven’t heard from Sarah Palin yet about the merits of ignoring federal laws you don’t like (because family and tradition!), but we imagine she’ll be along soon enough.

Bundy is also making sure to remind everyone that he is not opposed to Second Amendmenting his way to a resolution of his legal troubles. In 2013, he told the Las Vegas Sun that “he keeps firearms at his ranch” and is willing to “do whatever it takes” to protect his property. He added that “I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws.”

What a hero! Sean Hannity asked Bundy, “How far are you willing to go? How far are you willing to take this?” The Last Free Man in the West replied,

My statement to the American people, I’ll do whatever it takes to gain our liberty and freedom back.

Bundy also told wackaloon Pete Santilli — the radio guy who wants to shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina, but only after she’s duly convicted in a court of law — that he feels like he’s exhausted almost all his options:

I told you that I did the legal thing and the political thing and the media thing and it seems like it’s down to we the people if we’re going to get it done. You know the things like militias. You know, I haven’t called no militia or anything like that, but hey it looks like that’s where we’re at.

We got a strong army here, we have to fight, their [unintelligible] to back off. We don’t have our state officials not stepping up and saying no. So until the state people steps up and says no, the county sheriff says no, this thing is going to keep escalating until the point that we are going to have to take our land back and take our rights back and maybe that’s the time we are at in life, I don’t know, it just seemed like we worked our way all the way to this point, now are we going to back off? Or are we going to take it — somebody is going to have to back off. If they’re not, we the people are going to put our boots down and we are going to walk over these people.

Not that he’s threatening anyone specifically, of course. But he might need to — just keeping his Second Amendment options open.

On the Alex Jones radio hatefest, Bundy also addressed the possibility, if his cattle are seized and auctioned, of telling his supporters they’d need to “go in there with force” to stop the auction, an idea that Jones was hot for, saying it could be “how the shot heard round the world happens in this case” and would be just like 1776, hooray.

Media Matters also links to a Las Vegas Review-Journal article about the arrival of armed antigovernment militia folks to “help” Bundy. But don’t worry, they’re promising that they won’t instigate any shooting that happens. They’re just coming to resist tyranny. They seem nice, and we’re sure that their presence is all that’s needed to make the Feds see reason.

[Las Vegas Review-Journal / Media Matters]

Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He’s hoping that cooler heads prevail. He’s also not all that optimistic.

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