That some Texas legislators have an almost knee-jerk reflex when it comes to attacking government in just about every instance is old news. So it’s not surprising that Republican state representatives Debbie Riddle of Tomball and Bill Zedler of Arlington are supporting a lawbreaker and armed, anti-government extremists involved in a cattle-grazing dispute in Nevada.
In a Facebook post today, Riddle calls federal rangers “jack booted thugs” because they are enforcing court orders that a Nevada rancher stop grazing his cattle illegally on federal lands:
The rancher, Mr. Bundy, in Nevada who has drawn a line in the sand (without harming one turtle) is a brave patriot. The Feds have no right to come onto state property where he has had grazing rights for decades, take his cattle, act like “jack booted thugs” & attempt to intimidate. If Obama was as concerned about our border security as he is being a bully with Bundy – then we would all be safer & folks would respect our laws & respect us more as a nation. Mr. President, we here in Texas believe in States Rights & we are standing with the Nevada rancher!! As the say in NH “Live free or die!”
Zedler also criticized federal officials in a Tweet today:
The Bureau of Land Management needs to be defunded. Prime case of bureaucrats abusing power .
Actually, Riddle apparently doesn’t even have her facts straight. The dispute involves federal land, not “state property.” Longtime rancher Cliven Bundy has continued to graze his cattle on protected federal land in Nevada since 1998 despite court orders that he stop. Moreover, he stopped paying fees to graze his cattle on that land in 1993 — essentially stealing from taxpayers. Even Fox News has acknowledged that Bundy is breaking the law.
Armed anti-government “patriots” have converged on the land to support Bundy, forcing federal authorities to suspend efforts to round up the illegally grazing herd. But it appears that Riddle and Zedler think it’s just grand when armed extremists intimidate federal officials who are trying to do their jobs and enforce court orders.
For Riddle, Zedler and too many other irresponsible elected officials who pander to right-wing extremists today, it seems to be always the feds (or state authorities) who are the “jack booted thugs” and “abusing power.” But the real armed thugs who are taking the law into their own hands? Apparently, extremists like them are heroes and patriots.