NOTE: Video embedded at the end of this post.
The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart went after the Nevada rancher at the heart of a 20-year standoff with the federal government.
Rancher Cliven Bundy made national headlines recently when he and armed militia members stared down the federal government after it had confiscated his cattle. Over two decades, Bundy has declined to pay nearly $1 million in fees for letting his cows graze on federal land, which environmental advocates say could threaten the desert tortoise and other wildlife. The federal government over the course of those decades had obtained court orders for Bundy to stop and finally confiscated his cattle a few weeks ago. It then called off its roundup to avoid violence.
“It is your standard boy has cow, boy breaks law for 20 years, boy loses cow story,” Stewart said on his show (video embedded below), introducing a new segment called, “I don’t get it.”
The confiscation inspired responses from two governors. Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert (R) asked the federal government not to store the cattle as planned in his state for fear of introducing the long-simmering controversy to Utah and Nevada’s Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) accused the feds of trampling on his residents’ constitutional rights.
Stewart invoked philosopher Rene Descartes in lambasting Bundy’s assertion that he doesn’t “recognize the United States government as even existing.”