Saturday, January 9, 2016

Of Course Not: Having encouraged the Bundy Bunch, will Republicans denounce their illegal occupation?

There are two standout Republican champions of the Bundy Bunch - Kelli Ward who is running against John McCain for his Senate seat, and Paul Gosar who is running just for himself. Both went to Nevada a couple of years ago to support the Bundys who got their undies in a Bunch over the elder Bundy's "right" to not do as other ranchers do and pay for grazing cattle on public land. Ward and Gosar supported Bundy then. But what do they think of the occupation of a national wildlife refuge today? Stephen Lemons at the Phoenix New Times has the answer.

Wondering if Ward would wholeheartedly denounce Ammon Bundy's illegal actions in Oregon, I reached out to her and eventually received this reply from campaign staffer Roger Galloway:

"I will always support our First Amendment rights, including free speech, peaceful assembly, and the right to non-violently protest. As Americans, we enjoy the right to speak our minds without threat of government persecution, arrest, or incarceration.

So does she think that an armed insurrection is free speech? It's what she does not say that is important here.

"We don't have the right to use force or to threaten violence against others. There is too much federal control of our lands, especially in the West, and we need to address this overreach in a constitutional manner that follows the law."

The problem that her denunciation is cloaked in the very ideology that led to this illegal occupation. Tsk, tsk, Bundy Bunch, but Ward is on your side.

I guess that kinda-sorta repudiates Bundy's methods, if not the ideology that motivates him.

But did she really denounce this insurrection? On my reading:

Of. Course. Not.

Postscript: So how about Gosar? I just Googled "paul gosar bundy" in search of some statement about the current standoff in Oregon and got nada. My search for "paul gosar statement" resulted in hits on his complaints about the Pope and the President but nothing about the insurrection by the Bundys who he supported back in 2014. It is possible that some other search terms would get Gosar's statement, so I went directly to his congressional web site: "https://gosar.house.gov/press-releases" has nothing. Ditto for "https://gosar.house.gov/media-center/enewsletter-archives". So Gosar appears to be ducking and running. If you discover evidence to the contrary, let me know.

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