A simple, aw-shucks der-der-der cattleman with an arsenal and a drawl has captured the American conservative imagination. And vomited racist bile all over our dreams. But no worries, because he fixed it all with a Thursday afternoon press conference! Hear the man defend himself:
Here's some fun blow-by-blow, as related by HuffPo's Amanda Terkel, who watched the presser so you didn't have to:
And there you have it. Now will come the conservatives' rush—with one notably dullard exception—to put lots of air between themselves and their flavor-of-the-week rural secessionist. But they don't deserve to slip out of it that easily.
It's not merely that Cliven Bundy is a racist lunatic; he's a reductio ad absurdum of what passes for libertarian thought among its unreflective but reflexively militant white male interlocutors. You can't have the currently fashionable uncompromising anti-government, individualist, Second-Amendment-trumps-all-those-other-ones-we-haven't-memorized utopian jerk-off fantasy without the messy ejaculate that results from the fantasy—any more than you can separate the Confederate States of America's "states' rights" ideology from the slavery that ideology served and protected.
Bundy is the loudest, clearest expression of the id of Inner America. Inner America's superego will shove him back into the folds of its increasingly graying gray matter, and hope that you don't remember him or how he led their cattle drive. Don't forget about it, lest the next time they mount out on their mindless prairie ramble, they stampede all over you.
[Photo credit: Getty Images]