So Rand Paul is straight up going after the "patriot movement" voters now? I guess the field is so crowded anyone is fair game. Or else he's planning the next demonstration of "sovereignty"? Meeting with Cliven Bundy seems like political suicide to me.
In Mesquite, Paul fielded questions on public land control — a contentious topic in a state where more than 80 percent of the land is owned by the federal government. In an interview with The Associated Press, Paul said he'd favor transferring federally owned land back to state control.
"I think almost all land use issues and animal issues, endangered species issues, ought to be handled at the state level," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I think that the government shouldn't interfere with state decisions, so if a state decides to have medical marijuana or something like that, it should be respected as a state decision."
Paul's meeting with Bundy recalled one of the more dramatic conflicts over land rights in recent years.
Hundreds of armed supporters joined Bundy in April 2013 to stop a roundup of his cattle near Bunkerville about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The Bureau of Land Management says he owes more than $1 million in grazing fees over more than 20 years. Bundy argues the federal government has no authority there.
Bundy told the AP: "In general, I think we're in tune with each other." He added: "I don't think we need to ask Washington, D.C. for this land. It's our land."
Paul, the first 2016 presidential candidate to visit the small towns of Elko and Mesquite, says his views on limited government and allocating more power to states will help him win over Nevada voters. Paul enjoys residual support from Nevada's libertarian Republican Party due in part to the 2008 and 2012 presidential bids of his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul. The younger Paul has visited the state several times since announcing his presidential bid, including a recent April rally in Las Vegas.
That's just terrific. Keep it up, Rand. I'll bet there are some Grand Wizards in the South who are eager to meet with you, too.
This would be problematic under the best of circumstances, but when you read this in-depth report on the rise of domestic terrorism and how dangerous it is to this country right now, it's difficult to imagine what exactly Rand Paul thought he was doing.
At the very end of the report, there's a reference to Bundy and Mike Vanderboergh, discussing the deep and abiding anger within the white supremacists who control the movement.
Experts say the acrimony among the groups is not surprising. Indeed, they say, it’s the nature of the beast — those who join tend to be predisposed toward violence.
“I’ve never seen such anger,” said [author JJ] ]MacNab, who has testified before Congress.
She noted that the standoff last year between federal authorities and Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher, attracted hundreds of armed supporters and energized the anti-government movement.
“There’s a dark underbelly of people who would like the revolution to start and will do whatever they can to make it start,” she said.
Vanderboegh, a Patriot leader who joined the Bundy rally, said Americans need to understand that his movement is done giving up ground.
“We are not going to be pushed back any further from the exercise of our civil liberties,” Vanderboegh said. “We spent a lot of years after Waco trying to figure out what we might have done, feeling guilty that we didn’t do anything.
“We’re not going to allow any more free Wacos.”
That also means not allowing The Negro to gain more ground. This is who Rand Paul is catering to.
UPDATE: Politico reports that their private meeting was 45 minutes long, and they covered a range of topics.
The Nevada rancher said that he had expected only to have an opportunity to shake hands with Paul and make small-talk. He was surprised when campaign aides found a private room and allowed Bundy, his wife and son to speak with the candidate for the better part of an hour.
According to Bundy, the two mainly discussed federal land oversight and states’ rights, in addition to education policy — a theme Paul brought up in his speech.
“I don’t think he really understood how land rights really work in the western United States,” Bundy said. “I was happy to be able to sort of teach him.”
What did he teach Rand?
Bundy said that in their private meeting, Paul brought up the work of the American Lands Council, which raises money from groups like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity to wrestle land from the federal government and return it to the states via negotiations, legislation and litigation.
“I disagree with that philosophy,” Bundy said of the ALC’s legalistic approach. “My stand is we are already a sovereign state. The federal government doesn’t need to turn this land back to us. It’s already state land.”
“I don’t want to sell this land to private ownership, because I believe I already have stewardship.” He added, “I educated Rand on that point,” and said that the candidate seemed sympathetic to his point of view.
“I don’t claim ownership,” Bundy said. “I claim rights.”
Just like that! Sovereign citizen and all.
Rand Paul, sit down. You now are disqualified not only for the office of President, but also Senator. Go join your daddy at the lunatics' table.