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Opinion

April 28, 2014

Cliven Bundy's towering tantrum of entitlement

Here’s an important lesson for politicians and talk show hosts: Be careful whom you put on a pedestal. They might fall on you.

Yes, I’m referring to the saga of Cliven Bundy. I’m laughing too hard at the Nevada rancher’s political cheerleaders to be shocked by his famously ignorant slavery remarks.

Bundy became a hero with some Republican politicians, sagebrush libertarians and conservative talk show hosts after federal agents confiscated some of his cattle to help pay 20 years of grazing fees, totaling about $1 million, that he has refused to pay -- since 1993. Enough is enough, say the feds.

But hundreds of gun-toting supporters rallied to his side. So did Sean Hannity. The Fox News host led a nightly charge on behalf of “freedom-living Americans,” even if it meant siding with a lawbreaker.

But that was before the 67-year-old rancher wandered way, way off-topic to expound on the subject of low-income black people, sending his most prominent supporters scurrying away like cats from a water sprinkler.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said in a 55-minute ramble that was quoted by a New York Times reporter and posted later on YouTube.

Describing a public-housing development that he drove by in North Las Vegas, he said, “in front of that government house, the door was usually open and the older people and the kids -- and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch -- they didn’t have nothing to do.

Why? Because “they were basically on government subsidy,” Bundy said. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.”

Public housing needs cotton fields? Gee, thank you, Master Bundy.

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