Thursday, January 28, 2016

It's Not Over Till It's Over

As the Bundy Bunch dwindles in Oregon (are there any still at the Wildlife Refuge? I haven't checked this morning....) their "cause" continues.

It would be bizarre if it weren't so commonplace.

Everyone has the right to their own interpretation of the Constitution, I suppose, but we don't have the authority to act on our special belief regarding what the Constitution says and means. The Bundy Bunch has been acting out a fantasy of their political and religious beliefs, and they have been claiming authority they don't have to force government to abide by their claims. The Bundy Bunch would engage in armed insurrection if government did not meet their demands, demands which they insisted were Constitutionally based.

The problem is fundamental. Individuals have no authority to assert the Constitution -- or the Bible or the Book of Mormon -- in opposition to the government and to compel the government to abide by their assertions.

Apparently the Bundy Bunch never got that message, or if they did, they never understood it.

I listened to their arguments about Federal ownership of land, and they were just silly. And yet they repeated a passage from the Constitution over and over again, regardless. This matter has been adjudicated and legislated quite thoroughly, and they have not a legal or Constitutional leg to stand on. There is no question whatsoever that the Federal government can own and control land outside the District of Columbia. There is no legal requirement that such land must be turned over to the states for disposition. It's absurd to claim otherwise.

These people believe in this absurdity in part because their God tells them to. Yes, it is tied in with their Mormon beliefs -- beliefs which have frequently been in direct conflict with the government of the states and the United States, and occasionally, this conflict has led to bloodshed. Some Mormons continue to insist on their authority over (secular) government. They are theocrats, as are many other religious believers in this country and around the world.

I wouldn't call them terrorists. That's going too far. They use some terrorist tactics, but they haven't actually engaged in violent actions -- not yet anyway. Their threats have so far proved hollow. But then, this appears to be a long-term project. They're not done yet.

Part of the problem is the Constitution itself. Because it seems to authorize its own overthrow. This apparent authorization was a big part of the rationale for the unpleasantness between 1861 and 1865.

The resolution to that conflict actually didn't resolve all that much, though. The conflict continued, and many thousands died, lynched and otherwise murdered in the ongoing pursuit of power.

What the Bundy Bunch did can become a trigger for armed revolt/revolution, and we shouldn't fool ourselves into believing otherwise. As I've long said, if there is another armed revolution in this country, it will come from the Right, and an attempt at that rightist (and religious) revolution has just been made in Oregon. It won't be the last one.

Nope. This sort of thing will keep happening.

It ain't over till

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