This does not sound to The Scrapbook like the dread hand of tyranny, in Nevada or Washington, oppressing an innocent farmer, or pushing some law-abiding citizen around. It sounds, instead, like a rancher gaming the system to his own financial advantage, and disguising his scheme in populist rhetoric: refusing to pay a tax which others must pay, and “tying up the courts”—for two decades!—as he continues to ignore the law. Far from acting in an arbitrary or capricious manner, the federal government has shown patience and forbearance in the face of lawlessness that customarily lands people in jail. It is worth noting that Bundy’s rancher-neighbors and the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, who contend with the same federal policies, offer him little support.
April 28, 2014 at 11:47 AM EDT