Could the Cliven Bundy standoff in Nevada become the next Waco?
This is a despicable statement. It's not the statement, you have to disassociate yourself entirely from the man. And why Conservatives, or some Conservatives end up in bed with people who, you know, he makes an anti-government statement, he takes an anti-government stand, he wears a nice big hat and he rides a horse, and all of a sudden he is a champion of democracy. This is a man who said that he doesn't recognize the authority of the United States of America. And for him to reject it was the beginning of all of this. And now what he said today is just the end of this.Charles Krauthammer, Conservative commentator uncomfortable with the notoriety of Cliven Bundy.
Protesters cheer on horseback riders as they herd cattle belonging to rancher Cliven Bundy. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
For weeks Mr. Bundy was a rallying point for the U.S. right wing, portrayed as a struggling businessman who fought big government and what he considered unreasonable fees for allowing his cattle to graze on public land. An armed standoff ensued that reminded many people of the federal mishandling of Waco. Texas.
And then, Mr. Bundy started lecturing the media on race, suggesting many black people may have had happier lives in America's early days.
They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never, they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered are they were better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things? Or are they better off under government subsidy? Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy
After those comments, many Conservatives who embraced Mr. Bundy started back peddling. Fox News, American talk radio and most notable Republican Senator and potential presidential candidate Rand Paul condemned the remarks. On Friday, Mr. Bundy insisted he is not a racist. But he has has his supporters.
Devin Burghart is the Vice President of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and he was in Seattle.
Ronald Kessler has written extensively about how law enforcement and secret service agencies have dealt with violent standoffs in the past. He is a US journalist and the author of nineteen books on the FBI, CIA and US Secret Service. Ronald Kessler joined us from Potomac, Maryland.
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This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien, Josh Bloch and Howard Goldenthal.
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