This is Cliven. He sounds like he looks.

There aren't enough bad things I could say about the Bundy family to do them justice. (Full disclosure: I'm from four counties northeast of them, and Ryan lived not far from me for a while.) Ammon is a narcissistic would-be prophet, his brother Ryan is a credulous lunatic, and their father Cliven is an attention-seeking prat with the reasoning capacity of one of his stupider cows.

Bunkerville, where the Bundy family ranch is, is a tiny place outside Mesquite, Nevada. It is famous for being the place the Bundys come from. Cliven declined to pay his grazing fees and eventually the feds came to seize his cattle, which he of course turned into an armed standoff he didn't even attend because Cliven Bundy is not the sort of man who actually risks his life for his beliefs. He just gets a few dozen other people who like dressing up as Rambo to do it and then talks to the TV cameras that inevitably show up to any overdramatic bullshit the Bundys do.

Seriously he held a press conference every day.

Nobody died at Bunkerville. Once a few militias showed up with a bunch of ranchers and they were all playing spaghetti Western and taking up sniper positions and shit in support of Cliven's dumb ass, the guy in charge of the government side of the dispute decided a tax issue wasn't worth a probably deadly shootout. This was, of course, derided roundly from all sides as weakness and fed into the Bundys' collective delusions that they were the supreme authority of their temporal lives.

Ammon explained it all to me once, but I was far too sober to follow it. The upshot was that these people believe the Constitution precludes the federal government from owning land more than a few miles from DC. Also they think judges and lawyers can swear themselves in, and if you ever go to a wildlife refuge they have taken over and question their beliefs they will show you the website of a "lawyer" that supports them and it will be entirely in Comic Sans, which they will in no way question as possibly not the most professional of font choices.

Yeah, they all think these are the same thing.

Anyway, once they'd declared victory at Bunkerville they dreamt of taking their country back or something, so they started traveling the country and exploiting legitimate grievances trying to rally their base. The clan of religiously misguided morons are back in the news because after the feds failed to convict Ammon and Ryan for the Malheur standoff, they're trying their luck on the Nevada case. Which, naturally, is why Roger Stone was in Las Vegas.

Roger Stone, you see, has just discovered a Cause, and it is Cliven Bundy's God-given right to not pay grazing fees. So of course he came out to a rally to demand that Donald Trump pardon all of the Bundy clan and also note that he will be posting a petition on InfoWars in support of that outcome. He also talked about how the Constitution is unrecognizable and

This is the oppressive and of a military jackbooted government that has lost all sense of law and morality

which plays pretty well to a crowd containing more than a few people who have staged an armed standoff or two against federal law enforcement.

No, this guy's totally natural buddies with the cow guy. That'll go well.

The thing that keeps getting missed in coverage of the Bundys and their wacky exploits is though they have deadly consequences, they are also farcical. Most often, when children are singing in four-part harmony while making dinner for the men of the armed rebellion, it's a Broadway conceit, but that actually happened. When David Fry surrendered -- the last holdout at Malheur -- he demanded that agents all scream "Hallelujah!" while he came out of the tent. At least Yr Wonkette caught the farce.

It was a mere question of time before two forces of this much dramatic flourishing -- Stone and the Bundys -- came together. We can only hope that between them, they are strong enough to threaten Trump's sense of dramatic supremacy. I can't think of a thing I would rather have Trump spending his time on than plotting ways to take Roger Stone and Cliven Bundy down a notch.

Someone tell "Fox and Friends" to tell Trump that the crowd chanted "Roger!"



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