I understand it is not what we all hold as an American value that citizens should be attacked by police or government forces when they protest against policies or people they do not agree with. However, the right to protest breaks beyond the allowable extreme when the protesters are armed and threatening insurrection.
When the line is crossed to insurrection a definitive point has to be made that law and order will be restored and extremist stand their day in court. That is a reasonable expectation; but when we throw electoral politics into the mix the response becomes more complicated.
Militia, survivalist, fundamentalist home schoolers, Tea Baggers, gun extremist and rabid Obama haters are a major part of the Republican Party. Any show of force, supported by the Democratic President, toward Bundy and the whackos at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, would result in a tsunami of protest and outrage, and at the very least would embolden every nut case in the country to register and vote. Vote Republican.
The Republican Party and the gaggle of Republican candidates would love to have this issue to inflame their base. Freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, an armed government acting against citizens – I can hear the outcries and distortions now, all aimed to enrage a segment of the country already rabid with hate, racism, bigotry, Christian purity and a refusal to legitimize the first black President.
At any other time, the solution to this problem could be simple: surround the compound with massive firepower using U.S. Marshal, FBI, ATF and Forrest Service Police. Cut off all pizza and beer deliveries, and arrest anyone trying to enter or leave the perimeter. Massive arrest with federally imposed fines and imprisonment - a felony conviction that would prevent the those involved from owning or purchasing a firearm would set a precedence.
But, the time is not right. However, a future Democratic President should prepare and be ready for the next one; and at that time also swoop in and arrest Bundy and his sons for inciting insurrection.
If the government does not address this at some point they are enabling future conflicts that could become disastrous.