The Montana GOP-Supported Bundy Gang Gets It Half Right

In a legal filing that looks like it could have been drafted by a member of the Montana Legislature’s TEA Party wing, Malheur occupier and all-around nitwit Ryan Bundy got it half right, declaring himself an “idiot sovereign” to avoid facing trial. As Talking Points Memo reports:

In a baffling series of court motions filed Thursday, one of the men who led a 41-day occupation earlier this year of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon declared himself a sovereign citizen free from the bounds of federal laws.

Ryan Bundy claimed that he was a “idiot of the ‘Legal Society’” in documents filed to U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown, as Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

“I, ryan c, man, am an idiot of the ‘Legal Society’; and; am an idiot (layman, outsider) of the ‘Bar Association’; and; i am incompetent; and; am not required by any law to be competent,” Bundy wrote.

While the Bundy Gang is proving itself to be a lawless, laughable mess at every turn, it seems not enough attention has been paid to the fact that Montana legislators threw their support behind these men who illegally occupied a public facility, vandalized it, and created a violent confrontation that left one dead.

Where are militia-affiliated Senator Jennifer Fielder, who called for the Bundy gang to be pardoned, and Representative Theresa Manzella, who hailed the occupation while referencing armed rebellion, today? Do they still support the radical, lawless actions of this wannabe militia band?

And why, despite their support for a lawless gang of “idiot sovereigns,” did the Montana Republican Party chose Fielder and Manzella to represent them in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention? Why does the Montana Republican Party advocate the same kind of extremist land transfer rhetoric that drove the Bundiots?

In some ways, I think the Montana media tends to treat these militia legislators the same way the national press has treated Donald Trump. Instead of taking them seriously and taking them at their word when they endorse insurrection, the press assumes their views are so extreme and laughable that they don’t deserve real scrutiny. What we’re painfully learning with the ascension of Donald Trump, though, is that we can’t ignore these clowns any longer, “idiots” though they may be.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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